Small African country bordering Ghana, Burkina Faso and Benin. Became independent in 1960 from a France-administered United Nations trusteeship. Its economy is mostly dependent on agriculture.

The German colony of Togoland, formed in 1894, was divided between Britain and France in 1914 as League of Nations trusts. The British region became part of neighbouring Ghana on independence in 1957. The French region became independent in 1960 as Togo, with Sylvanus Olympio as president.

Olympio was killed in an attempted coup d'etat in January 1963, the first post-independence African leader to suffer this fate. I have several times seen it written that the Togo coup was the first in post-independence Africa, but this ignores General Ibrahim Abboud's coup in Sudan in 1958. Olympio was killed taking refuge in the grounds of the US embassy; and his killer was a young officer called Etienne Eyadema.

Nicolas Grunitzky succeeded Olympio and was president from 1963 to 1967, when Eyadema and Kleber Dadjo led a successful coup. Dadjo became "president of the commission for national reconciliation". After a couple of months Eyadema replaced him and was president for almost forty years after, having survived retiring from the military and winning elections as a "civilian" ahem.

When the authenticity jag swept Africa (especially Zaïre, Chad, and Equatorial Guinea) around 1975, Etienne became Gnassingbe. He died in February 2005 and his son Faure Gnassingbe was declared president.

Togo, a dog owned by Leonhard Seppala during The 1925 Serum Run to Nome. Seppala described Togo as a "Genius", a "Nautral born leader" who's "great speed and endurance" seemed boundless. Togo and Balto were not a part of the same team, as the total Serum Run consisted of more than a dozen sled dog teams.

Togo led 93 miles of the serum run from Nenana, Alaska, to Nome, Alaska. He was 12 years old at the start of the run, and lead the team over more miles than any other leader and team. Togo didn't receive much credit, because he didn't mush the serum into Nome, but is regarded by most Alaskans as the real hero. The serum being delivered was for a deadly child's illness called diptheria. After the serum run, Togo developed arthritis and was retired.

Togo lived as a stud in Maine and was put to sleep at the age of 16 by Seppala in 1929, who then had him mounted. His remains became apart of an exhibit of championship dogs at Yale University, but he was later returned to Alaska where he's on display at the Iditarod's Wasilla Headquarters. Shortly before his death, he recieved his recognition at Madison Square Garden in New York City in front of 20,000 spectators.

Sources:
www.alaska.com
Additional information provided by Chiisuta.

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