Independence Day of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is observed on July 12. On that day in 1975, the country gained independence from Portugal.
The first successful settlements on Sao Tome and Principe were founded in 1493 and in 1500, respectively. Although slavery in Portuguese colonies was officially abolished in 1876, plantation workers were being subjected to forced paid labor. Dissatisfaction with working conditions along with sporadic unrest continued for decades and culminated in the Batepa massacre that occurred on February 3, 1953.
After the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal, the new Portuguese government agreed to grant its overseas colonies independence. Following a brief transitional period, São Tomé and Príncipe officially became a sovereign nation on July 12, 1975, with Manuel Pinto da Costa as its first president.
In the year 1985, a special commemorative coin was issued to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Independence of the country. The obverse of the coin depicts the Arms of Sao Tome and Principe with the name of the country and the denomination of the country. The reverse depicts Map of Sao Tome and Principe islands with two stars, labels, and legend 10 years of Independence and the years 1975-1985.
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