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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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First trips to Lithuania in 1977–78

by Raimundas Balsys. Over the years, Mom and Dad kept in touch with relatives who had stayed behind in Lithuania. Mom was always writing letters and sending boxes of used clothing to the old country. The relatives thought that America’s streets were paved in gold. They would send letters requesting ...

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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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Searching for the Wreck of the Prezidentas Smetona. An interview with John Nekus

Editor’s note: In June of last year, John Nekus and a team of Lithuanian naval historians, underwater archeologists and sailors in the Lithuanian Navy lead by Dr. Vladas Žulkus of Klaipėda University sailed on what turned out to be the 3rd expedition to look for the wreck of the Prezidentas ...

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We Thought We’d Be Back Soon: 18 Stories of Refugees 1940-44 Selected and Edited by Dalia Stake Anysas, Dalia Cidzikaitė, and ALaima Petrauskas Vanderstoep

We Thought We’d be Back Soon book signing at the Lithuanian World Center in Lemont, Illinois. The book’s editors (from left) Dalia Cidzikaitė, Laima Petrauskas Vanderstoep and Dalia Stake Anysas meet with enthusiastic readers.

Sandra Baksys. As traumatized survivors of three invasions of their homeland (Soviets in 1940, Nazis in 1941, and Soviets, again, in 1944), members of Lithuania’s “DP” generation were famously tight-lipped about their World War II refugee experiences. Until my father Vince was in his 70s and 80s, I learned few ...

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A Gift from the Heart – The American Lithuanian Liberty Bell

An appeal from the Lithuanian Liberty Bell Committee. Patrons contributing five dollars or more received a bronze medal replica of the bell. The center photograph shows Lithuania and Columbia flanking the newly cast Lithuanian Liberty Bell.

Dr. Stasys Bačkaitis. The world sighed a sigh of relief when the horrors of the 1914-1918 war drew to a close. It was identified by the misnomer “Great” and only later given a number when the subsequent War outdid the previous one. The Lithuanian people, like other oppressed peoples, rightfully assumed ...

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