The Padang was originally known as Raffles Plain. It was the setting for many historic moments, including a victory parade to celebrate the end of the Japanese Occupation in 1945 and the first National Day Parade in 1966.Established as Singapore’s commercial/business centre in the 1820s, it was originally known as Commercial Square. It was renamed Raffles Place in 1858. Boat Quay flourished with the settlement of traders and labourers as well as the construction of trading facilities in the area. It maintained its role as a vital trading centre for nearly a century before its decline in the late 20th century.