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AN INTERVIEW WITH President Valdas Adamkus

National Lithuanian American Hall of Fame 2017 inductees: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Stanley Balzekas Jr., former president of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus and Juozas Kazickas (posthumously) represented by his daughter, Jurate Kazickas.

Our Draugas corres­pondent, Vitalius Zai­kaus­kas, met up with President Adamkus in Lithuania and engaged him in a candid conversation about his legacy, the future of Lithuania, and its ongoing struggles. President, we meet again after some two years. Presently we are commemorating Lithuania’s Independence Day this month. Do you have ...

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Growing up Lithuanian on a Tobacco Farm. An interview with Sigita Bersėnas Balzekas

Elena Bersėnas reaches for the top of a tobacco blossom as husband Juozas looks on.

Background: Sigita’s parents owned a tobacco and apple farm near Mt. Brydges, Ontario, from the early 1950s until the late 1970s, when the farm was expropriated for the construction of a divided-lane highway linking Sarnia and London. LH: Could you give a brief history of your family and how they ...

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BATUN – BALTIC COOPERATION IN EXILE. How Baltic Americans banded together to stir the conscience of the United Nations

BATUN’s 20th anniversary celebration at the UN in New York. Gintė Damušis is in the second row, 7th from the left.

Sirje Okas Ainso. We, Baltic Americans, victims of World War II and its aftermath, were steadfast in our resolve that one day we will be able to return to a free Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania – lands that the Soviet Union so ruthlessly occupied. We wanted to find a way ...

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They came from Vilnius. Digging for Hidden Treasure Finding Lithuanian markers across America

A meeting with local contacts (from l.) Aistė Žemaitienė, Stephen Kwedar, M.D., Susan Eby, Mary Ann Rackauskas, D.D.S., Rick Dunham, Augustinas Žemaitis, Gražina Macius, Sheila Mack, Maureen (Mack) Mueller. Photo by Sandra Baksys

Sandra Baksys. After 25 days and 4,500 miles criss-crossing the Midwest, following upon the heels of a similar expedition on the East Coast last year, Augustinas Žemaitis and Aistė Žemaitienė, both of Vilnius, Lithuania, have visited more Lithuanian-American heritage sites than anyone else in the world. This year’s “Destination Lithuanian ...

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The Hippie Movement in Lithuania – Forerunners

Dress rehearsal for the rock opera “Jesus Christ SuperStar” before its premiere on Christmas Day, 1971, in Vilnius.

by Skaistė Plaušinytė. The largest and most significant youth movement in Lithuania during the Soviet period was that of the hippies. This movement, which started in the West at the beginning of the 1960s (in the U.S., Great Britain and Western Europe), reached the Soviet Union as well. The hippies seemed ...

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On the Road Again in Lithuania

A collection of wayside crosses encountered on the road from Šiauliai to Vilnius.

John Baltrus. As promised almost two years ago (in Draugas News, July 2017) this past summer, I returned to Lithuania to continue my exploration of its countryside by bicycle. All I needed to do was dust off my bike, put air in my tires, and hit the road. I thus ...

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The Oklahoma Saga Continues

Lithuanian Oklahomans gathered to establish the Oklahoma Lithuanian Club.

Vilius Žalpys. In the April 2018 issue of Draugas News, Vilius Žalpys conveyed his initial findings of Lithuanian pioneers in Oklahoma. Here he continues to report on the latest developments in this fascinating but little known Lithuanian enclave. The Oklahoma File Revisited This fall I returned to Oklahoma for a ...

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75 Years and Going Strong. The American Legion Lithuanian Post Commemoration in Baltimore

Lithuanian Legion Baltimore Post 154 at the annual Kosciusko Commemoration at West Point in 2010.

Henry L. Gaidis. This year the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Lithuania is being celebrated by virtually every Lithuanian enclave throughout the world. The American Legion Lithuanian Post 154, Baltimore, Maryland, on Sunday, September 16, 2018, took the occasion to also commemorate the 100th Anniversary of ...

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The Draugas digital archive

By Jonas Daugirdas. I presume that most of our readers are quite familiar with the Lithuanian – language Catholic newspaper Draugas, founded in 1909 as a weekly publication by a consortium of priests in Wilkes Barre, PA, and moved to Chicago a few years later. The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate ...

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From Vilnius back to Chicago. Going Global. An interview with Marijus Gudynas

Lithuania’s Consul General in Chicago Marijus Gudynas leads his compatriots in the singing of the Lithuanian national anthem at Chicago’s popular tourist attraction – the Bean.

Virginija Petrauskienė. The Chicago-based Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture has announced that the 2018 “Man of the Year” is Marijus Gudynas, diplomat and Director of the Department of Lithuanians Living Abroad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Lithuania.  Most recently he successfully served as Lithuania’s Consul General in ...

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