Countries aren't disappearing (they're just changing names)

To keep track of geographical name changes in this evolving world can be a tall order. Consider St. Petersburg, Russia, which in 1914 became Petrograd because that sounded more Russian. Then in 1924, it switched to Leningrad three days after the death of Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution. In 1991, in Russia's first presidential election, voters approved a referendum to change the name back to St. Petersburg. With other countries and cities, switching names often has been done to reflect independence from colonial rule. Some selected name changes:

- Then Now

- Burma Myanmar

- Ceylon Sri Lanka

- Dutch East Indies Indonesia

- East Pakistan Bangladesh

- Gold Coast Ghana

- Malaya Malaysia

- Northern RhodesiaZambia

- Persia Iran

- Southern RhodesiaZimbabwe

- South West Africa Namibia

- Upper Volta Burkina Faso

- Yugoslavia Serbia and Montenegro

- Zaire Democratic Republic of the Congo

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