March 25, 1957 was declared Belarusian Independence Day in Michigan by Governor G. Mennen Williams. This was a sign of recognition and appreciation of the Belarusian-American community led by members of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile.Continue reading Belarusian Independence Day in Michigan – March 25, 1957
Representative John Dingell (D, Michigan) has held a short speech in the House of Representatives on 23 March 1966, dedicated to the Independence Day of Belarus (25 March).
***Continue reading Rep. John Dingell: speech at US House of Representatives on Belarus Independence Day 1966
Rep. John W. Wydler (R, New York) was one of several US Congresspeople who made a statement in the US House of Representatives in 1966, on the anniversary of the declaration of independence by the Belarusian Democratic Republic.
Mr. Speaker, just 48 years ago, after centuries of enslavement and oppression, the Byelorussian people declared to all mankind they were a free and independent people. This declaration followed on the heels of the Russian Communist revolution and the downfall of the Romanovs. The reality of freedom was short lived, for before a full year had passed, the Russian Red Army marched through the countryside and Byelorussia was again under Russian control.
Rahel, the medieval Christian chronicler, wrote many years ago:
“To have freedom is only to have that which is absolutely necessary to enable us to be what we ought to be and to possess what we ought to possess.”
Today Byelorussia is not free. The Byelorussians have no way to assert their own national identity. They cannot be what they want to be, or possess that which they want to possess. They are being denied their own individual history, culture and national pride. They are clearly and simply a ward of the Kremlin.
As freemen who do not take our freedoms and liberties for granted, we are a link between the principles of freedom and self-determination and those who aspire to be free and guide their own destiny. On this 48th anniversary of Byelorussian independence, let us reaffirm to the Byelorussian people that their hopes have not been forgotten by the free world.
Source: Congressional Record
Official greeting to the anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic from US President George H. W. Bush, 1989.
In 1957, the Mayor of New York, Robert F. Wagner, declared March 25 the official Belarusian Independence Day and invited the people of his city to ” join with those of Byelorussian origin in prayers for peace, freedom and justice in the world”.
This has been the result of the work of the Belarusian diaspora in the United States in popularizing Belarus in the West, spreading information about the country’s history and current situation.
Below the text of the official proclamation.
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
WHEREAS: March 25, 1957 will be the thirtyninth anniversary of the Proclamation of the free and independent Byelorussian Democratic Republic; and
WHEREAS: Americans of Byelorussian descent are observing this date by reasserting their belief in freedom for all people and reaffirming their conviction that tyranny and despotism cannot long prevail where man so believs; and
WHEREAS: it is universally recognized that the resistance of the brave and patriotic Byelorussian people to communistic totalitarianism has never waned even to this day,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ROBERT F. WAGNER, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Monday, March 25, 1957, as BYELORUSSIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY in the City of New York, and call upon all citizens to join with those of Byelorussian origin in prayers for peace, freedom and justice in the world.
(Robert F. Wagner)
Mayor, The City of New York
State of New York Executive Chamber
In 1984, the Governor Richard Lamm of Colorado made an official statement declaring 25 March the Belarusian Independence Day.
This and many similar statements by US officials were the result of many years long work by the Belarusian American community to popularize Belarusin the United States, to spread information about the Belarusian culture and history in the West.
Byelorussian Independence Day
March 25, 1984
Whereas, March 25th marks the anniversary of the proclamation of independence of the Byelorussian Democratic Republic; and
Whereas, the Byelorussian Democratic Republic was established following the collapse of the Tsarist Russian Empire but was subsequently annexed by the government of the Soviet Union; and
Official proclamation by New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani, declaring Belarusian Independence Day in New York on the anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in 1995.
In 1995, US President Bill Clinton issued an official letter to congratulate the Belarusian community in America with the Independence Day of the Belarusian Democratic Republic.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic, President Dwight D. Eisenhower has sent his greetings to the Belarusian American community through Konstanty Mierlak, President of the Belarusian-American Association and Member of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic.
The first official visit of the President of the United States to Belarus took place on January 15, 1994.
President Bill Clinton had meetings with the leadership of Belarus, spoke at the Academy of Sciences of Belarus, visited the memorials to the victims of the Second World War and to the victims of Soviet Repressions.