In podcast 38 of the Say Labas show we spent most of the episode talking about one of Lithuania’s most historic days! The Restoration of Lithuanian Independence, what made this day even more special is that this year the 11th of March 2015 marked the 25th anniversary since Lithuania’s independence, a day that is not only special to us, but to all Lithuanians everywhere.
March 11, 1990, will forever be one of the most important events in modern Lithuanian history. It’s a day that Lithuania as a nation, against all the odds, stood up and declared its freedom! On this day 25 years ago the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted an Act for the Restoration of an Independent State of Lithuania, after a long and grueling five decades of occupation by the Soviet Union (USSR). Here are 11 quick fire facts about this historic day.
11 Facts Uncovered About the Restoration of Lithuanian independence.
- It was the first time that a Soviet State dared to declare its independence from the Soviet Union.
- The Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania was an inspiration and paved the way for other Soviet republics to declare their independence.
- Mikhail Gorbachev called the Act of Independence illegal and the Soviet Union demanded retraction of the Act and began applying sanctions against Lithuania.
- The Soviet government imposed an oil ban, an economic blockade and increased its military presence in Lithuania, all as retaliation to Lithuania’s act of Independence.
- During the days of Soviet barricades from 1990 till 1992 the Lithuanian Parliament was called “the heart of Lithuania” it was also the political center of the Lithuanian State.
- Iceland was the first Country to recognize Lithuania’s independence on February 11, 1991. (Almost a full year later)
- During Lithuania’s first assembly on March 11, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR elected Vytautas Landsbergis as its chairman, then changed its name to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, and formally declared the re-establishment of the State of Lithuania.
- The act was approved at 10:44 pm, by 124 members of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania 6 members abstained from the vote. There were no votes against!
- The Declaration of Independence on 11 March 1990 was Lithuania’s second in the 20th century. (The first one was signed on 16 February 1918.)
- A set of collector’s euro coins will be issued in 2016 dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Lithuania’s restored Independence.
- Only, on September 6, 1991 was Lithuania’s independence recognized by the Soviet Union.
In many ways the 11th March 1990 was a symbol of freedom and a beacon of hope for all nations across the globe and proof that Freedom indeed lies in being bold.
Do you have anything to add? What are you thoughts about Lithuania’s Independence? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave comments below.
Solveiga & Tim.