Independence was granted to the Congo. A rebel movement freed the Belgian Congo from Belgium.
Joseph Kasavubu became president and Patrice Lumumba prime minister. He made Joseph Mobutu, a young military officer, his private secretary.
Two months after he took power a sub-committee of the US National Security Council authorized the assassination of Lumumba, with Mobutu later becoming president.
THIS DAY IN 2010:
Congolese soldiers, holding Belgian and Congolese flags, take part in a military parade, in Kinshasa.
President Joseph Kabila called today for a "moral revolution" in the Democratic Republic of Congo at ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of its independence from Belgium.
Congolese should put an end to "attacks on human life and dignity" and in particular the widespread rape that has become a feature of the guerrilla conflicts racking the vast nation, he said. Kabila also singled out "tribalism, regionalism, favouritism, irresponsibility, theft, embezzlement of public property and everything else contrary to values."