Hey! I'm really interested in your nation, and I'm doing a presentation about the Singing Revolution at school. I was wondering if you have any good websites/information that you could give me? That would be really appreciated!
It all started in 1985 when Gorbatchev introduced glastnost (openess) and perestroika (restructuring). It was his first mistake that lead to his downfall.
In 1987 Moscow introduced plans to start mining phosphorus in Virumaa (grey areas on the picture is where phosphorus sources are located)
Estonian’s didn’t really like that as that would have meant even more foreign workers and Estonians were already slowly becoming minority (in 1980′s Estonians made up barely 61% of population). Other reason was that mining would have done huge damage to Virumaa’s nature.
It sparked massive protests and it is considered the spark that started revolution in Estonia. Soviet authorities had to abandon the mining plans by September since people were so against it.
On 23rd August first protest against Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was held. (Known as Hirvepargi Meeting in Estonia).
On 14th May Five Patriotic Songs were performed in Tartu Pop Music Festival and Estonian flag was brought out for the first time, however it was placed as all colours on 3 flags.
In June, after the Old Town Days were over, the authorities told people to leave (they performed the Five Patriotic Songs again) but the crowd moved to the Song Festival Grounds - hence the name Night Songfestivals. People sang through the night, performing national songs that were forbidden by authorities.
There Estonian flag was properly brought out for the first time. It was done by a lone man on a motorcycle, but after him “the flags popped out from crowd like mushrooms after rain” as witnesses have later told. The lone biker got a tribute in 2008, at the Jubilee Night Songfestival.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SZcABCytAg (starting from 1:28)
On September 11, “Song of Estonia” was held at Song Festival Grounds. There gathered 300 000 Estonians (or 1/3 of all Estonians in the world). Heinz Valk coined his now famous “Ükskord me võidame nii kui nii!” (”One day we shall win, no matter what!”) there. It was the first time full independence was demanded by our public leaders.
On 16 November, the legislative body of Estonia issued the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration. It meant Estonian laws are superiour to those of Soviet Union’s. Basically autonomy was declared.
On 7th December Estonian is declared to be the state language of Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.
On 24th of February, people could start to register themselves as Estonian citizens (as de jure Republic of Estonia existed).
On 23rd August 2 million Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians linked hands to form 600 km long human chain to demand freedom. It was one of the first protests Western Media recognised and reported.
On August 20th, Soviet Troops try to storm Estonian TV tower, the only connection with outside world, due military coup. People went to protect TV tower from tanks with no weapons whatsoever.
August 20th 23.03 The Estonian Supreme Soviet along with Congress declared restoration of Republic of Estonia.
August 22nd Iceland becomes first country in the world to recognise Republic of Estonia.
Somewhere around August, September - Lenin’s statue is removed from Lenin Square (renamed Iceland Square to show Estonians gratitude to Iceland for recognising us first.)