The Reconsecration of the Church of the Annunciation. The Brooklyn church has served the Lithuanian community continuously since 1914

The newly refurbished interior of Annunciation Church.

Raimundas Šližys. For New York area Lithuanians and the entire American Lithuanian community as well, March 24th was a special day. On that date after a yearlong restoration, the historic Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Brooklyn, NY, was solemnly reconsecrated. Since 1914, when the ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

Femme au Foyer – 24 Days of a Baltic Christmas

Found a great blog by Latvian-American Liene Kukainis. It’s called “Femme au foyer” which translates to “woman at the hearth.” For the past several years Liene has been putting together a list of posts each December each having something to do with a Baltic Christmas. Here are the postings to-date ...

Read More »

Aloyzas Baronas and the Christmas harmonica tale

We received an inquiry at Lithuanian Heritage relating to a very short story written by Aloyzas Baronas, about “Kaziuko Armonika.”  The reader wanted to know where one could find more stories like this to read to children about the magical goings on during the night before Christmas, where animals are ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »