2008/09/15

Monday, September 15

“Did you know that....?” - My favorite facts and trivia on Liberia

I love facts. My favorite slogan is “Facts first, opinions later.” I also love factoids and trivia. Many are known ‘facts’, some may surprise. The entire list is a weird collection. Some ‘facts’ are fun-facts or useless knowledge, some ‘facts’ may increase our understanding of Liberia.

Here we go. Did you know that:

- The Liberian flag was modeled after the U.S. flag and the eleven red and white stripes of the Liberian flag stand for the eleven signers of the Liberian Declaration of Independence?

- The eleven delegates represented about 3,000 people (colonists) of whom only 600 had elected them?

- The Constitution of 1847 was written by an American Harvard professor, Simon Greenleaf?

- The original name of Monrovia was Christianopolis?

- Monrovia was named after James Monroe – 5th U.S. president - and Buchanan, Liberia’s second largest city, after Thomas Buchanan, the first Governor of the Commonwealth of Liberia and cousin of the 15th president of the U.S.A., James Buchanan?

- The original settlement of Liberia was purchased for trade goods, supplies, weapons, and rum worth approximately $300 but this was never paid in full?

- Liberia’s first president, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, was an octoroon, who could have easily passed for a white man?

- 12 Presidents of Liberia were born in the USA and only two Liberian Presidents were of full tribal descent?

- Liberia in 1960 was elected to the Security Council of the United Nations, the first black African country ever to occupy a seat in this body?

- In 1969 the Liberian Angie Brooks Randolph was chosen to preside over the 24th General Assembly of the United Nations?

- In the late 1970s Liberia was led by two religious leaders: President William Tolbert and Vice-President Bennie Warner?

- Liberia’s Ruth Perry was Africa’s first female head of state and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Africa’s first elected female President?

- One Liberian President won the presidential elections in what was classified by the Guinness Book of Records (1982) as the most fraudulent elections ever reported in world history?

- Samuel Doe’s PRC (People’s Redemption Council) was nicknamed ‘People Repeating Corruption’ and the Liberian Peace Council (LPC, one of the warring factions during the civil war) the Lost Property Collector because of their habit of looting homes?

- Liberia is about the size of Tennessee?

- Liberia has 1585 kilometers of borders - with Côte d' Ivoire, Guinea, and Sierra Leone?

- Sapo National Park in Liberia is West Africa’s second-largest tropical rainforest and home to about 125 mammal species, including elephants, leopards, giant forest hogs, chimpanzees, duiker antilopes and the rare pygmy hippo?

- Liberia is an ornithological paradise, home to 700 species of birds, including the bee-warbler, a bird only slightly larger than a bee?

- Oprah Winfrey traced her ancestral roots back to the Kpelle in Liberia?

- The Liberian George Weah is the only African who in one single year – 1995 - was named FIFA World Player of the Year, European Footballer of the Year and African Footballer of the Year?

Certainly, more interesting facts and factoids exist. Please feel free to add your favorite ones!

1 comment:

Gwen said...

1. During the war, ECOMOG (Economic Community of West African States Cease-fire Monitoring Group) was nicknamed 'Every Car or Moving Object Gone'

2. Most of the eggs found today in Monrovia are imported from India

3. The tallest man-made structure in Africa is in Monrovia - The Paynesville Omega Transmitter, 417 meters tall, now unused. There is no security around it, and it is possible to climb it.