Updated: 2019-06-23.

Here is a brief timeline of important events that have shaped Latvia and its people; the focus here will be geared towards recent events (from 100 years ago or so), located towards the bottom, but we’ll begin with more ancient events first.

1918 – Latvian National Council proclaims Latvia an independent nation on 18 November.

1922 – New Constitution

1934 – Prime Minister Kārlis Ulmanis, in a coup d’état, seizes absolute power.

1940 – Latvia Forced to Join Soviet Union

1941 – Nazis Invade

1986 – First Anti-Soviet Demonstrations

1990 – Latvia Proclaims Independence from USSR on 4 May.

1991 – Soviet Union Recognizes Latvian Independence

2004 – Latvia Joins NATO on 2 April

2004 – Latvia Joins European Union on 1 May

2014 – Latvia Begins Using Euro on 1 January; The euro currency replaces Latvia’s lat.

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