Singapore's first National Day celebrations

SingaporeIn 1966, Singapore celebrated its 9 August National Day for the first time. It was a week-long string of festivities that included a big parade, fireworks displays, cultural shows, and dinner parties. It was actually Singapore’s second National Day. The very first had been on 9 August 1965 when Singapore separated from the Federation of Malaysia to go its own way. On this day, it was simultaneously announced in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur that henceforth, Singapore would be "a sovereign, democratic and independent nation".

National Service: Early years

National Service (NS) was introduced in post-independence Singapore when the National Service (Amendment) Act came into effect on 17 March 1967. Then Defence Minister Goh Keng Swee justified the government’s decision to introduce compulsory ...

Dalforce

Dalforce was a volunteer army formed by the local Chinese community to resist the Japanese invasion during the battle of Singapore. It was named after its commander, Lieutenant Colonel John Dalley of the Federated Malay States Police ...

Area Licensing Scheme

The Area Licensing Scheme (ALS) was launched on 2 June 1975. Designed to reduce traffic congestion in the Central Business District (CBD), the key concept underlying the ALS was that a special supplementary licence had to be obtained ...

Qing Ming Jie (All Souls’ Day)

Qing Ming Jie (All Souls’ Day)Qing Ming Jie (清明节), which can be translated to mean “Clear and Bright Festival” or “Pure and Bright Festival”, is similar to All Souls’ Day observed in the Western ...

MacDonald House bomb explosion

MacDonald House bomb explosionA bomb exploded in the MacDonald House building situated along Orchard Road on 10 March 1965 at 3.07 pm. The explosion claimed the lives of three people and injured ...

John Turnbull Thomson

John Turnbull Thomson (b. 10 August 1821, Glororum, England–d. 16 October 1884, Invercargill, New Zealand) was the Government Surveyor of the Straits Settlements from 1841 to 1853. He made a number of important contributions during ...

Hock Lee bus strike and riot

Dismissed workers of the Hock Lee Amalgamated Bus Company went on strike from 25 April 1955. Joined by supporters and Chinese middle school students, these strikers picketed the bus depot and disrupted bus services. Police were called ...

Sir Shenton Thomas

Sir Shenton Thomas Whitelegge Thomas (b. 10 October 1879, London, England–d. 15 January 1962, London, England), more popularly known as Sir Shenton Thomas, was the last Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Straits Settlements and ...

Force 136 (Operation Gustavus in Malaya)

Force 136 (Operation Gustavus in Malaya)Force 136 in Malaya was part of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), a secret service organisation active during World War II. Tasked with recruiting ...

National Pledge

The finalised version of the national pledge was largely drafted by then Minister for Foreign Affairs S. Rajaratnam in February 1966 as a way to promote national loyalty and consciousness among citizens following Singapore's separation ...