The world's newest country was born after more than 50 years of civil war. Millions died in conflicts between black African tribes in southern Sudan and the mainly Arab north. A peace deal in 2005 led to the creation of South Sudan.
This historic day was also marked in Chicago, first with a walk-a-thon then a rally and speaker program at Diversey Harbor Grove.
Several groups took part. One speaker said those gathered were praying for the prosperity of this new country. The walk-a-thon raised money to help educate refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan.