January 26 is celebrated in Latvia as the Day of International Recognition ( de jure ) of the Republic of Latvia ( Latvijas Republikas starptautiskās ( de jure ) atzīšanas diena ).
On November 18, 1918, « Independence Act » was proclaimed in Riga, according to which Latvia became an independent state.
On January 26, 1921, the countries of the Friendly Agreement — Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Belgium, which won the First World War, — recognized the independence of Latvia de jure.
Thus, the leading world powers recognized independent Latvia as an equal subject of international law. In the same year in September, Latvia became a member of the League of Nations.
But with the outbreak of World War II, in 1939, Germany and the USSR signed the « Non-aggression Treaty » ( also known as the « Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact » ), and Latvia, falling within the scope of interests of the Soviet Union, soon lost her independence in this way. After the war, during which the country was occupied by Nazi troops, and then liberated by the Red Army, Latvia became one of the Soviet republics.
In the period 1988 — 1990, the influence of the People's Front of Latvia, which advocates the independence of the country and its withdrawal from the USSR, intensified in the Latvian SSR. In May 1990, the Supreme Council of the Latvian SSR adopted the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia, and on September 6, 1991, Latvia regained its independence, becoming the last of the Baltic states to do so.