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 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

  • 1514-09-08 Battle of Orsha: Polish Lithuania army defeat the Russian army
  • 1563-02-15 Russian troops occupy Polotsk Lithuania

Royal 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
  • 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 Antanas Smetona assumes power in Lithuania as the ‎1926 coup d'état‎ is successful
  • 1926-12-17 Lithuanian military state under gen Augustine Woldemaras
  • 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

Treaty 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

  • 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 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

Ivan 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)

  • 1461-08-05 Alexander Jagiellon, Grand Duke of Lithuania (d. 1506)
  • 1533-09-15 Catherine of Austria, Queen of Poland and Grand Duchess consort of Lithuania, born in Innsbruck or Vienna, Austria (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)

Tadeusz Kościuszko

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

  • 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-American pianist, composer (Java Suite; Triakontameron; 53 Studies on Chopin's Études), and pedagogue, born in Žasliai, Russian Empire (now Lithuania), (d. 1938)
  • 1877-09-11 Felix Dzerzhinsky [Iron Felix, Bloody Felix], Polish-born Bolshevik leader established and developed Soviet secret police (Cheka, forerunner to the KGB), born in Ivyanets, Lithuania (d. 1926)
  • 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, Russian-American violin virtuoso (Carnegie Hall debut -1917), born in Vilnius, Russian Empire (now Lithuania) (d. 1987)
  • 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, and inventor (Gannex raincoats), born in Kaunas, Russsian Empire (now 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, Lithuanian-American actor (Hamlyn-Strange Report), born in Kaunas, Lithuania
  • 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, and inventor (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 pop-rock-folk singer-songwriter, and poet, dies of stomach cancer at 56
  • 2010-06-26 Algirdas Brazauskas, President of Lithuania (b. 1932)
  • 2011-02-16 Justinas Marcinkevičius, Lithuanian poet and playwright (b. 1930)