Originally one of the great trading empires of West Africa, this country was made the French colony of Côte d'Ivoire in 1893. The Malinke empire of the interior resisted the French until 1918. Towards the end of the 1940's French rule became excessively oppressive. Côte d'Ivoire peacefully achieved autonomy in 1958 and independence in 1960, when Félix Houphouët-Boigny was elected president. We want to wish a Happy Independence Day to those in Cote D'Ivoire! If you'd like to learn more about African culture and holidays, Click Here.