On September 14, at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, the Embassy of Latvia and the American Latvian Association are sponsoring an event about one of the founders of Latvia, former Prime Minister and President Kārlis Ulmanis. He is the only UNL alum who became a leader of a country. The university has honored Ulmanis in the past with a bust and a plaque in his memory.
The lectures will take place at the College of Business, Howard Hawks Hall. Lecturers Dr. Jānis Šiliņš (University of Latvia and the National Archive of Latvia) and Dr. Juris Plēsums (Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies) will talk about the role of Ulmanis in the history of Latvia and his connection to the United States.
At the Lincoln Archives and Special Collections Love Library there will be an exhibit of Ulmanis Archival Material.
On March 26, 1931 (11), The New York Times in its article “A Premier from Nebraska” writes: “One who passes through Riga in those days remembers seeing this man of heroic mold, in a great room of an old castle with nothing upon its walls except the coat of arms of Latvia and a pennant of the University of Nebraska.”
As Latvia celebrates its Centennial in 2018, the emphasis has been it’s greatest asset – the people. “I am Latvia” celebrates all those who dreamed, founded, fought for, built and rebuilt a nation worthy to stand among European Union members and share NATO responsibilities. “I am Latvia” is the foundation for every 21st C. global Latvian citizen. The Centennial program also includes learning more about notable persons in the history of the Latvian state. “Kārlis Ulmanis. People that have shaped Latvia’s Centennial” showcases one such citizen and is part of the Centennial Public Diplomacy program.
Kārlis Augusts Vilhelms Ulmanis, born on September 4, 1877 in the Dobele region in Latvia, was one of the most prominent Latvian politicians during the interwar period of independence from November 1918 to June 1940. Ulmanis was politically active during the 1905 Russian Revolution, and was briefly imprisoned, subsequently fleeing Latvia to avoid incarceration by the Russian authorities. During this period of exile, Ulmanis studied at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 1909. After working briefly as a lecturer and for Roberts Dairy in Lincoln, Ulmanis moved to Houston, Texas, where he had purchased a dairy business. Ulmanis returned to Latvia after learning Tsar Nicholas II declared a general amnesty for political exiles in 1913. After the Russian revolution of 1917, he was appointed vice governor in the territory of Vidzeme and a year later helped write the Latvian Declaration of Independence. In 1934, he interrupted the parliamentary system and established an authoritarian regime. In 1940, the Soviet occupation forces sent Ulmanis into exile to the Soviet Union. He died in exile in 1942 and his final resting place is unknown.