Every week, starting from today and up until March 11 – Day of Restoration of Independence of Lithuania – we will be sharing documents that are of great significance in the history of freedom of Lithuania from Vilnius University Library collections! #FreedomRestored
Today we are presenting you with the first publication of the national anthem of Lithuania, first published in the Lithuanian newspaper Varpas as a poem called Lithuania, Our Homeland, authored by Vincas Kudirka.
Vincas Kudirka (1858–1899) was a Lithuanian poet, physician and author of both the music and lyrics of the national anthem of Lithuania, which was first published in the Lithuanian newspaper Varpas as a poem called Lithuania, Our Homeland. Since the very beginning Lithuania, Our Homeland was very popular and was sung in various Lithuanian gatherings. The first public performance of the hymn was given by a choir led by Mikas Petrauskas (1873–1937) in the summer of 1905 at the Vilnius Theatre. During the Soviet occupation, the singing of this hymn was banned.
Lithuania, Our Homeland received official recognition on 18 November 1988 and was soon adopted as the national anthem.