Today, I say in muted tones "Happy Birthday to Zimbabwe." While Rhodesia (the country's name before it became Zimbabwe) declared its independence from the UK in 1965, that action was taken by the minority white government led by then Prime Minister Ian Smith. He used to say of this unilateral declaration of independence that only two countries had ever broken away from Britain: the United States and Rhodesia. You can read more about the ensuing history. Eventually, Rhodesia fell into a civil war with mult-factions vying for power. When the dust settled, the new country of Zimbabwe came into existence April 18, 1980.
Once seen as a leading light in sub-Saharan Africa, in recent years, Zimbabwe has suffered mightily under the megalomaniacal rule of its president Robert Mugabe. Today's BBC News features some of the present woes of this once lovely country.
Photo of the Matobo Hills in Zimbabwe, taken by my nephew Nevin.