Every 11 March is Independence Restoration Day in Lithuania. It celebrates the re-establishment of an independent Lithuanian state on 11 March, 1990. This is the date that the official act declaring Lithuania’s freedom from the USSR was passed.
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Another independence day also exists for Lithuania, which is celebrated on 16 February to mark the day in 1918 that Lithuania escaped from the control of the Russian Empire. The two independence days should not be confused. The one relates to the defeat of Russia in World War I, while the other has to do with the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War.
After a brief period of independence following the First World War, Lithuania was invaded by the USSR in 1940. But the people of Lithuania never gave up their desire for an independent state, and the movement grew over the years. Protests were especially strong from 1987 to 1989. In February of 1990, the first free elections in decades resulted in a non-Communist Lithuanian government that wasted no time in declaring independence.