Dr Jonas Basanavicius (Jonas Basanavicius)

Dr Jonas Basanavicius

Lithuanian Statesman. He was the patriarch of the Lithuanian National Movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the first signer of the Lithuanian Declaration of Independence (1918). A physician by profession, Basanavicius was a prolific writer who rallied the Lithuanian nation to national consciousness which resulted in Lithuanian independence being achieved. His publication Ausra (The Dawn), first printed in 1883, was smuggled into Lithuania where it was read and cherished. He was a member of the Great Seimas of Vilnius in 1905 which proclaimed the right of Lithuania for self-determination. He founded the Lithuanian Learned Society in 1907, and became editor of its publication Lietuviu Tauta (The Lithuanian Nation). On February 16, 1918, Basanavicius chaired the historic meeting of the Council of Lithuania. That day the Lithuanian Declaration of Independence was approved and signed, with Basanavicius being the first signer. Birthplace: Ozkabaliai, Vilkaviskis County. His image appears on the silver 1936 5 litai coin, the 1928 50 litu banknote and on contemporary 50 litu banknotes, and on a 2001 silver proof 50 litu coin minted by the Lithuanian Mint to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth. (bio by: Frank Passic, Albion Historian)


  • November, 23, 1851


  • February, 02, 1927


  • Rasu kapines
  • Vilnius
  • Lithuania

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