Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Latvia Celebrates Independence Day

96 years ago, Latvia declared independence from Russia on November 18, 1918 in the immediate aftermath of World War I. The red and white flag was chosen as the Latvian National Flag.

In the following years, Latvia was captured and declared a Soviet Socialist Republic in 1919; recognized as an independent nation again in 1921; occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany under the covert Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in 1939; and eventually by the Soviet Union again after World War II.

Earlier this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way event when significant peaceful protests from the three Baltic countries - Latvia, Lithunaia, and Estonia rallied against oppression under the Soviet Union in 1989. Latvia regained its independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Postcard LV-79087 from Latvia shows the cityscape of Riga, the capital of Latvia. Its Art Nouveau center was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

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