Lithuanian History

Historical Events

  • 1009-03-09 First known written mention of Lithuania, in the annals of Quedlinburg
  • 1236-09-22 The Lithuanians and Semigallians defeat the Livonian Brothers of the Sword in Battle of Šiauliai.
  • 1253-07-06 Mindaugas is crowned King of Lithuania
  • 1370-02-17 Battle at Rudau: Germany beats Lithuania
  • 1390-09-11 Lithuanian Civil War (1389-1392): the Teutonic Knights begin a five-week siege of Vilnius
  • 1398-10-12 The Treaty of Salynas is signed between Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas the Great and the Teutonic Knights, who received Samogitia.

Battle of InterestBattle of Grunwald

1410-07-15 Battle of Grunwald (First Battle of Tannenburg, Battle of Žalgiris), one of Medieval Europe's largest battles during Poland-Lithuanian Teutonic War. Polish King Władysław Jagiełło and Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas defeat Teutonic Ulrich von Jungingen

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Battle of Grunwald, a painting by Jan Matejko
Battle of Grunwald, a painting by Jan Matejko
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  • 1514-09-08 Battle of Orsha: Polish/Lithuania army defeat the Russian army
  • 1563-02-15 Russian troops occupy Polotsk Lithuania

CrownRoyal Coronation

1594-02-19 Having already inherited the throne of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth through his mother, Catherine Jagellonica of Poland, Sigismund III of the House of Vasa is crowned King of Sweden, succeeding his father John III of Sweden.

  • 1605-09-27 The armies of Sweden are utterly defeated by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Battle of Kircholm.
  • 1610-07-04 Battle of Klushino: King Sigismund III's Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth army beats Russia and Sweden
  • 1655-07-31 Russo-Polish War (1654-1667): the Russian army enters the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilnius, which it holds for six years
  • 1667-01-30 Treaty/Truce of Andrusovo signed between Tsardom of Russia & Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • 1673-11-11 Second Battle of Khotyn in the Ukraine, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth forces under the command of Jan Sobieski. defeat the Ottoman army. In this battle, rockets of Kazimierz Siemienowicz were successfully used.
  • 1791-05-03 Constitution of May 3 is proclaimed by the Great Sejm (Parliament) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, becoming the 1st modern constitution in Europe

  • 1795-03-28 Partitions of Poland: The Duchy of Courland, a northern fief of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ceases to exist and becomes part of Imperial Russia.
  • 1826-07-26 Riots in Vilnius, Lithuania cause the death of many Jews
  • 1892-02-03 Russia closes down the Volozhin Yeshiva, a Lithuanian talmudical college
  • 1905-05-29 Pogrom against Jewish community in Brisk, Lithuania
  • 1917-12-11 German-occupied Lithuania proclaims independence from Russia

Gregory Conquers Julius CaesarGregory Conquers Julius Caesar

1918-02-15 Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania adopt the Gregorian calendar

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Pope Gregory XIII with the calendar that was to make his name
Pope Gregory XIII with the calendar that was to make his name
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  • 1918-02-16 Lithuania declares independence from Russia & Germany (National Day)
  • 1918-03-23 Lithuania proclaims independence
  • 1919-04-20 Polish Army captures Vilno, Lithuania from Soviet Army
  • 1920-07-12 Lithuania and USSR sign peace treaty, Lithuania becomes independent republic
  • 1921-09-22 The League of Nations accepts membership of independent Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
  • 1922-02-20 Vilnius, Lithuania, agrees to separate from Poland
  • 1923-01-10 Lithuania seizes & annexes country of Memel
  • 1923-02-01 Allied ultimatum on Lithuanian occupation of Memel
  • 1923-04-18 Poland annexes Central Lithuania
  • 1924-05-08 Memel territories given to Lithuania
  • 1926-12-17 Lithuanian military state under gen Augustine Woldemaras
  • 1926-12-17 Antanas Smetona assumes power in Lithuania as the ‎1926 coup d'état‎ is successful
  • 1929-04-05 Lithuania signs Litvinov-pact
  • 1933-07-17 After successfully crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Lithuanian research aircraft Lituanica crashes in Germany under mysterious circumstances

  • 1934-09-12 Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania signs Baltic Entente, against USSR
  • 1939-03-20 7,000 Jews flee German occupied Memel Lithuania
  • 1939-03-22 Lithuania forced to give Memel territory to Germany

AgreementTreaty of Interest

1939-09-28 German-Soviet Frontier Treaty is signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov; redraws German and Soviet spheres of influence in central Europe and transfers most of Lithuania to the USSR

Foreign Minister of the German Reich Joachim von Ribbentrop
Foreign Minister of the German Reich
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov
Soviet Foreign Minister
Vyacheslav Molotov
  • 1940-06-15 Soviet Army occupies Lithuania
  • 1940-06-16 Communist government installed in Lithuania
  • 1940-07-14 Lithuania becomes Lithuanian SSR
  • 1940-07-21 Soviet Union annexes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
  • 1940-08-03 Lithuanian SSR is accepted into USSR
  • 1940-08-25 Lithuania, Latvia & Estonia incorporated into Soviet Union
  • 1941-06-22 June Uprising in Lithuania begins, resulting in the collapse of the Soviet occupation, but replaced with invading German forces shortly after
  • 1941-06-24 Entire Jewish male population of Gorzhdy, Lithuania, exterminated
  • 1941-06-26 Lithuanian fascists massacre 2,300 Jews in Kovno
  • 1941-07-07 Nazis execute 5,000 Jews in Kovono, Lithuania
  • 1941-07-14 6,000 Lithuanian Jews are exterminated at Viszalsyan Camp
  • 1941-07-24 Nazis kill entire Jewish population of Grodz, Lithuania
  • 1941-08-15 Kovono Lithuanian Jews are herded into Slobodka ghetto
  • 1941-09-08 Entire Jewish community of Meretsch, Lithuania, is exterminated
  • 1941-09-15 Nazis kill 800 Jewish women at Shkudvil, Lithuania
  • 1943-09-15 Concentration Camp Kauwen in Lithuania opens

  • 1944-03-27 2,000 Jews are murdered in Kaunas Lithuania
  • 1944-07-13 Vilnius, Lithuania, liberated
  • 1990-01-11 200,000 demand return of Lithuania's independence
  • 1990-03-11 Lithuania declares its Independence
  • 1990-12-01 Lithuania, Estonia & Latvia hold their 1st joint session
  • 1991-01-11 Soviets storm buildings in Vilnius to block Lithuania independence
  • 1991-01-13 Soviet troops continue attack on Vilnius, capital of Lithuania; 13 people killed and 140 injured as
  • 1991-02-10 Lithuania votes for independence from USSR
  • 1991-02-12 Iceland recognizes Lithuania's independence
  • 1991-07-31 The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacks Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai, killing 7 officers and severely wounding one other
  • 1991-09-02 US officially recognizes independence of Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania
  • 1991-09-06 USSR recognizes the independence of the 3 Baltic republics (Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania)
  • 1992-10-25 Lithuania holds a referendum on its first post-Soviet constitution.
  • 1996-03-07 British Steel in Workington wins Lithuanian multi-million pound order
  • 2002-11-21 NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members.
  • 2002-12-13 Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004.
  • 2004-03-29 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia join NATO as full members
  • 2004-04-06 Rolandas Paksas becomes the first president of Lithuania to be peacefully removed from the post by impeachment.
  • 2004-05-01 Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia join the European Union, celebrated at the residence of the Irish President in Dublin.
  • 2004-06-28 Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism
  • 2007-12-21 The Schengen Agreement area increases to include 9 European Union member states; Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia on land and sea borders.
  • 2014-05-25 Dalia Grybauskaitė is re-elected President of Lithuania
  • 2015-01-01 Lithuania adopts the euro as its currency, replacing the litas and becoming the 19th member of the Eurozone

Famous Birthdays

Person of interestIvan the Great

1440-01-22 Ivan III, the Great, Grand Prince of Moscow and Russia (1462-1505) who conquered Lithuania, born in Moscow, Russia (d. 1505)

Grand Prince of Moscow and Russia Ivan the Great
Grand Prince of Moscow and Russia
Ivan the Great
  • 1461-08-05 Alexander Jagiellon, Grand Duke of Lithuania (d. 1506)
  • 1533-09-15 Catherine of Austria, queen consort of Poland and Lithuania (d. 1572)
  • 1653-05-21 Eleonora Maria Josefa of Austria, queen consort of Poland and Lithuania (d. 1697)
  • 1714-01-01 Kristijonas Donelaitis, Lutheran pastor, Lithuanian poet (The Seas)
  • 1720-04-23 Vilna Gaon, Lithuanian rabbi, born in Sialiec, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (d. 1797)

Person of interestTadeusz Kościuszko

1746-02-04 Tadeusz Kościuszko, Polish-Lithuanian Military Leader and statesman considered a national hero, born in Mereczowszczyzna, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (d. 1817)

Military Leader and Statesman Tadeusz Kościuszko
Military Leader and Statesman
Tadeusz Kościuszko
  • 1754-11-26 Georg Forster, German writer, naturalist (A Voyage Round the World) and revolutionary, born in Nassenhuben (Mokry Dwór), Royal Prussia, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (d. 1794)
  • 1775-06-13 Antoni Radziwiłł, Polish-Lithuanian politician, cellist, and composer, born in Vilnius, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (now Lithuania) (d. 1833)
  • 1835-01-17 Antanas Baranauskas, Lithuanian bishop/poet/dialectologist
  • 1835-01-18 César A Cui, Russian composer and fort architect, born in Vilnius, Russian Empire (now Lithuania) (d. 1918)
  • 1870-02-13 Leopold Godowsky, Polish pianist and composer (Java Suite, 53 Studies on Chopin's Études), born in Žasliai, Russian Empire (now Lithuania), (d. 1938)
  • 1877-09-11 Felix Dzerzhinsky [Iron Felix, Bloody Felix], Ivyanets, Lithuania, Soviet statesman, established and developed Soviet secret police (Cheka, forerunner to the KGB)
  • 1882-10-19 Vincas Kreve-Mickievicius, Lithuania, poet/philologist/playwright
  • 1885-02-26 Aleksandras Stulginskis, President of Lithuania (d. 1969)
  • 1887-02-28 William Zorach, Lithuanian-American sculptor (Spirit of the Dance), born in Jurbarkas, Lithuania, Russian Empire (d. 1966)
  • 1901-01-17 Aron Gurwitsch, Lithuanian-born philosopher, born in Vilnius, Lithuania (d. 1973)
  • 1901-02-02 Jascha Heifetz, US violin virtuoso (Carnegie Hall), born in Vilnius, Lithuania
  • 1904-09-23 Meyer Schapiro, Lithuanian-born American art historian, born in Šiauliai, Russian Empire
  • 1907-02-02 Bernardas Brazdzionis, Lithuania, poet/editor/critic
  • 1915-06-16 Joseph Kagan, Lithuanian-British businessman (Gannex raincoats), born in Lithuania (d. 1995)
  • 1915-12-13 Yitzhak Zuckerman [Itzhak Zuckerman], Vilnius, Lithuania, Jewish resistance hero in World War II and one of the few survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
  • 1924-04-28 Donatas Banionis, Lithuanian actor (Solaris, Goya or the Hard Way to Enlightenment), born in Kaunas, Lithuania (d. 2014)
  • 1925-07-30 Jacques Sernas [Jokūbas Bernardas Šernas], Lithuanian actor (La Dolce Vita, Helen of Troy), born in Kaunas, Lithuania (d. 2015)
  • 1926-11-03 Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania
  • 1932-10-18 Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuanian politician
  • 1937-01-31 Regimantas Adomaitis, Lithuanian actor
  • 1940-03-04 Kas Garas, Kaunas Lithuania, actor (Hamlyn-Strange Report)
  • 1943-09-07 Lena Valaitis, Lithuanian-German Schlager singer, born in Klaipėda, Lithuania
  • 1951-02-03 Eugenijus Riabovas, Lithuanian football manager
  • 1963-01-01 Lina Kačiušytė, Lithuanian swimmer (Olympic gold 200m breaststroke 1980; WR 1979 2:28.36), born in Vilnius, Lithuania
  • 1972-01-14 Raimondas Rumšas, Lithuanian cyclist, born in Šilutė, Lithuania
  • 1975-03-18 Tomas Žvirgždauskas, Lithuanian footballer
  • 1978-06-16 Dainius Zubrus, Lithuanian ice hockey player
  • 1982-02-04 Tomas Vaitkus, Lithuanian professional road racing cyclist, born in Klaipėda, Lithuania
  • 1984-05-02 Saulius Mikoliūnas, Lithuanian footballer, born in Vilnius, Lithuanian SSR

Famous Weddings

  • 1576-05-01 Stefan Batory, the reigning Prince of Transylvania, marries Anna Jagiellon and they become the co-rulers of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Famous Deaths

  • 1430-10-27 Vytautas the Great, Grand Duke of Lithuania (b. 1350)
  • 1434-06-01 Władysław II Jagiełło, King of Lithuania and later also Poland, dies (b.1351)
  • 1545-06-19 Abraomas Kulvietis Lithuanian reformer (b. 1509)
  • 1608-02-13 Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski, Lithuanian prince (b. 1526)
  • 1631-08-08 Konstantinas Sirvydas, Lithuanian lexicographer (b. 1579)
  • 1657-08-06 Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Polish-Lithuanian noble
  • 1690-01-03 Hillel ben Naphtali Zevi, Lithuanian rabbi (b. 1615)
  • 1780-02-18 Kristijonas Donelaitis, Lithuanian poet (b. 1714)
  • 1812-12-27 Shneur Zalman of Liadi, Lithuanian rabbi and founder of Chabad Hasidism (b. 1745)
  • 1833-04-07 Antoni Radziwiłł, Polish-Lithuanian politician, cellist, and composer, dies at 57
  • 1918-03-26 Caesar A. Cui, Lithuanian fort builder and composer, dies at 83
  • 1924-12-02 Kazimieras Būga, Lithuanian philologist (b. 1879)
  • 1927-01-27 Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis-Matulevičius (Matulewicz), Lithuanian bishop
  • 1944-01-03 Jurgis Baltrušaitis, Lithuanian poet (b. 1873)
  • 1955-03-05 Antanas Merkys, President of Lithuania (b. 1888)
  • 1957-11-20 Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Russian-Lithuanian artist, dies at 82
  • 1961-08-11 Antanas Škėma, Lithuanian writer actor and director (b. 1910)
  • 1980-12-02 Romain Gary, Lithuanian-born French writer (b. 1914)
  • 1995-01-18 Joseph Kagan, Lithuanian-British businessman (Gannex raincoats), dies at 79
  • 1996-03-03 Meyer Schapiro, Lithuanian-born American art historian, dies at 91
  • 2002-09-04 Vlado Perlemuter, Lithuanian-French pianist, dies at 98
  • 2007-02-17 Jurga Ivanauskaitė, Lithuanian writer (b. 1961)
  • 2008-01-13 Sergei Larin, Lithuanian tenor (b. 1956)
  • 2008-03-15 Vytautas Kernagis, Lithuanian singer, TV shows announcer (b. 1951)
  • 2010-06-26 Algirdas Brazauskas, President of Lithuania (b. 1932)
  • 2011-02-16 Justinas Marcinkevičius, Lithuanian poet and playwright (b. 1930)