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Georgia celebrates 100th anniversary of Establishment of First Democratic Republic – What happened on May 26
26 May, 2018
On May 26, Georgia celebrates Independence Day and 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first democratic republic. Various events are planned to take place throughout the city, mainly at Liberty Square.

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Heads of state and high rank guests are visiting Georgia. Among them are Presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Finland and Armenia. Other high rank guests include Chairmen of Parliament of Estonia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as French Foreign Minister, Vice PMs of
Belarus and Romania, Vice-President of the Senate of the Czech Republic and others. By the invitation of Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also arrived in Georgia. Various festive events will be held across Georgia all day long.

Representatives of historic Georgian Diaspora are also visiting Georgia, including the descendants of Noe Zhordania, Akaki Chkhenkeli, Noe Ramishvili, Noe Khomeriki, General Giorgi Kvinitadze and Mamia Berishvili.
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Georgia celebrates the first anniversary of its independence. May 26, 1918

Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom,has also sent her congratulations to Georgia on the national day.



Georgia celebrates 100th anniversary of Establishment of First Democratic Republic
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The Act of Independence

“It gives me great pleasure to send Your Excellence my congratulations on the celebration of your national day, particularly in the year in which Georgia celebrates centenary of the establishment of the Firth Democratic Republic of Georgia, together with my best wishes for the good fortune and happiness of the people of Georgia in the coming year. At this time I reflect on the close historic ties between our countries, and look forward to our ongoing friendship and cooperation”, says the letter of congratulation posted on the official Facebook page of British Embassy.
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On May 26 of 1918 National Council of Georgia adopted the Act of Independence

Exactly 100 years ago the most important decision was made by Georgian people in today’s Youth Art Palace building located at Rustaveli Avenue #6, on former Golovin Avenue. On May 26 of 1918, exactly at 5:10am, the National Council of Georgia (that was renamed into the Parliament of Georgia) adopted the Act of Independence that gave birth to the Democratic Republic of Georgia. On this day one century ago Noe Jordania the chair of Presidium of the National Council of Georgia declared Democratic Republic of Georgia. On July 24, 1918, he became Head of the Government of Georgia.

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Tetri Giorgi and the Seven Celestials – coat of arms of Georgia 1918–1921, 1991–2004

The parliamentary elections took place in February, 1919 that saw 60 % turnout of voters. In total 145 deputies were elected in the parliament of Georgia with 5 women delegates among them. After one year from establishment of Democratic Republic of Georgia, the first anniversary of the independence was celebrated in country. The National Council of Georgia (Parliament of Georgia) created the national flag coat of arms and national anthem, besides the council abolished death penalty.

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Flag of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918–1921), 1990–2004

Yet, taste of freedom turned out to be quite short; in 1921 Georgia was invaded by the Soviet Russian army and eventually incorporated into the newly formed Union of Soviet Socialist Republic.
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Russian Red Army in Tbilisi

When Georgian cadets were confronting Russian Red Army N11 at the edge of Tbilisi city, the National Council adopted the constitution of Georgia.

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Festive ceremony  on Rustaveli Avenue. May 26, 1920. The members of Government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia

Only 70 years later, on April 9 of 1991, Georgia managed to free itself from the totalitarian system and claim back its independence, in the aftermath of the tragedy and national rally that took place on April 9, 1989. Dozens of citizens fell victim to the Soviet Russian army that suppressed the peaceful rally with unseen cruelty.
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Georgia celebrates the first anniversary of its independence. Noe Zhordania, S. Mdivani, N. Tsereteli, P. Kakhiani, G. Lordkipanidze, E. Takaishvili, and foreign guests are seen on the tribune

Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia, attended ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the First Republic of Georgia along with other heads of state visiting Tbilisi.
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The National Council of Georgia declaring Georgia's independence

According to the Presidential Administration, President Margvelashvili held bilateral meetings with Polish, Slovak, Finnish presidents and the Vice Prime Minister of Romania.
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Present national flag and coat of arms of Georgia

Following the reception, honorary guests will move to the Freedom Square, where they will address the Georgian population and congratulate Georgia on the National Day.

It is also worth mentioning that Google congratulates Georgia on its Independence Day. In relation with this historic date, Google’s home page features the flag of Georgia and the mountain landscape.
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Related stories:

Independence Day – The birth of Democratic Republic of Georgia

Members of European Parliament Congratulate Georgia

Century-old Georgian independence petition discovered in University of Oxford

29 years after April 9 massacre – Georgians’ struggle for gaining back independence from USSR

Georgia marks 97th anniversary of the adoption of its first constitution
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