Two books on Lithuanian-American Contribution to Lithuania’s Independence

This year, two capital books about Lithuanian-American contribution to Lithuania’s statehood and independence were published in Lithuania.

The first book, Long Live Lithuania! Lithuanian American Contribution to Lithuania’s Statehood is a compilation of documents, discussions, articles, correspondence and comments of various US governmental institutions and Lithuanian-American Community, Inc. related to the long-standing efforts by Lithuanian-Americans to fight for Lithuania’s freedom. The compiler of the book, Regina Narusis, JD, the chairman of the Royal Palace Restoration Committee for the USA and along-time chairman of Lithuanian-American Community, Inc. and World Lithuanian Community, hopes that the new book will contribute to a better understanding of Lithuanian-American input into the restoration and consolidation of Lithuania’s statehood from the late 19th century to the present day.

The second book, Lithuanian American Support for Lithuania 1918-2018 by prof. Juozas Skirius, based on archival documents, periodicals, memoirs and other sources, sheds light on the activities of Lithuanian-Americans from 1918 to 2018. The author distinguishes three main periods, during which Lithuanian immigrants in the US have provided financial, political, informational and cultural support to their compatriots in the homeland and Lithuanian state. They defended Lithuania’s independence and made efforts to liberate Lithuanian nation from multiple occupations.The book also discusses the activities of Lithuanian-American charity organizations and their attempts to provide financial support to Lithuania and its people.

Commemoration of the Proclamation of Lithuanian Day

The participants of the book presentation

One hundred years ago, the US government declared November 1st “Lithuanian Day.” Due to the lobbying efforts of American Lithuanians, in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson officially designated a special day on which public collections will be made all over the United States for the relief of the war-stricken people of Lithuania. It was the first official act of the President of the United States recognizing the existence of the Lithuanian nation. On November 1, 1916, hundreds of American Lithuanians took to the cities, towns, and streets urging to donate to their compatriots in Lithuania. As the result of this
action, $176,863.28 were collected.

To mark this event the National Library of Lithuania hosted a presentation of the book, Lietuvos valdžios ryšiai su JAV lietuviais 1926–1940 metais: suartėjimo kelių paieškos (2016) [Connections between the Lithuanian Government and Lithuanian Americans in 1926-1940: Searching for Ways of Consolidation] by Juozas Skirius. The event was attended by the author of the book, historian Prof. Dr. Juozas Skirius, Prof. Dr. Aivas Ragauskas, Dr. Vitalija Stravinskienė, Prof. Dr. Vida Pukienė, Parliament member, diplomat Dr. Žygimantas Pavilionis and senior researcher of the National Library of Lithuania Dr. Giedrė Milerytė-Japertienė.