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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Adams Morgan in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Lithuania's March to Freedom

Keeping a Nation Alive

 

—Adams Morgan Heritage Trail —

 
Lithuania's March to Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
1. Lithuania's March to Freedom Marker
Inscription. Since 1924 this mansion has housed representatives of the Republic of Lithuania, even during the 50 years when the country was occupied by the Soviet Union.

In the late 1700s, the Russian Empire annexed Lithuania's territory, ending the 500-year-old state known as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1918, at the close of World War I, Lithuania re-emerged as an independent nation. But once World War II broke out in 1939, Lithuania endured invasions by the Soviet Union, then Nazi Germany, and again the Soviet Union. For the next 50 years, Lithuania disappeared into the Soviet orbit. Or did it?

Lithuania did not disappear. When the Soviet Union annexed Lithuania in 1940, Minister Plenipotentiary Povila Žadeikis refused to surrender this building. Žadeikis and his successors ensured that official Washington (and, thanks to Washington, other governments around the world) not only refused to recognize the Soviet annexation of Lithuania, but also continued to consider Lithuania an independent nation, aiding immensely in the campaign to throw off Soviet domination. The U.S. government also gave Lithuania's stranded diplomats access to Lithuanian gold deposited with the U.S. Federal Reserve. These funds helped keep the legation open while diplomats and Lithuanian immigrants promoted Lithuania's culture and independence.

Finally
Lithuania's March to Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
2. Lithuania's March to Freedom Marker
in 1990, as the Soviet Union was crumbling, Lithuania was the first republic to declare its independence. After citizens elected a new government, Soviet forces attempted to remove it by force, spurring tens of thousands of Lithuanians to occupy the streets of their capital Vilnius on January 13, 1991, and protect their elected officials. Moscow relented and the last Soviet troops left in August 1993.

Marker produced by the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in cooperation
with District Department of Transportation and Cultural Tourism, DC.

 
Location. 38° 55.428′ N, 77° 2.196′ W. Marker is in Adams Morgan, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 16th Street Northwest when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2620 16th Street Northwest, Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania (here, next to this marker); Life on the Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Hilltop for Heroes and Horse Thieves (about 300 feet away); Polish-U.S. Diplomatic Relations (about 300 feet away); Embassy of the Republic of Poland
Independence Day image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
3. Independence Day
Keeping the Nation alive: Chargé d'Affairs and Mrs. Juozas Kajectas celebrate Lithuanian Independence Day with Washington's Lithuanian American Society at St. Mathews Cathedral, February 1959.
Close-up of photo on marker
(about 300 feet away); Campus to Army Camps and Back Again (about 400 feet away); Mansions, Parks, and People (about 600 feet away); Visionary and Park Champion (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Adams Morgan.
 
Categories. GovernmentPoliticsWar, Cold
 
Week of Occupied Nations Proclamation, 1982 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
4. Week of Occupied Nations Proclamation, 1982
President Ronald Reagan expresses solidarity by signing the Week of Occupied Nations Proclamation, 1982.
Close-up of photo on marker
Human Chain image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
5. Human Chain
Two million citizens of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia formed a 370-mile human chain to peacefully protest Soviet domination in 1989. These Lithuanians lined the highway to Vilnius.
Close-up of photo on marker
Diplomat-in-Exile - No More image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
6. Diplomat-in-Exile - No More
Chargé d'Affairs Stasys Lozoraitis who succeeded his father as diplomat-in-exile working for Lithuanian freedom, manned the embassy balcony the day after independence was declared on March 11, 1990.
Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
7. Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis
Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis and family pose with president Barack Obama after Pavilionis presented his credentials as Lithuanian envoy, 2010.
Handshake image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
8. Handshake
Lithuanian Head of State Vytautas Landsbergis shakes hands with President George H.W. Bush at a White House meeting where Bush reconfirmed U.S. support for a free and independent Lithuania, May 8, 1991.
Olympic Basketball & The Grateful Dead image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
9. Olympic Basketball & The Grateful Dead
In 1991 Lithuanians found their new freedom everywhere, it seemed. One very meaningful moment came when Lithuanian athletes competed in the 1992 Olympics under their own flag, not the Soviet Union's. Basketball fans still remember how, when Lithuanian players couldn't afford the travel, members of the Grateful Dead paid their way to Barcelona where they defeated the ex-USSR team to win the Bronze Medal. Players wore tie-dyed t-shirts combining the band's imagery with Lithuania's national colors.
Embassy of Lithuania image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
10. Embassy of Lithuania
Lietvos Respublikos Ambasada image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
11. Lietvos Respublikos Ambasada
Vytis<br>The Chaser image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2015
12. Vytis
The Chaser
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 28, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 331 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on April 28, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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