The Anniversary of the Memorandum of the Slovak Nation marks the proposal of the 1861 Slovakian Memorandum and is annually observed on June 7. On this day over a century ago, one of the most crucial moments in the political history of Slovakia occurred. The Memorandum demanded a separate administrative area to be governed exclusively for and by Slovaks, where the citizens would use Slovak as the official language of communication in all spheres of public life. This was the foremost attempt at emancipation by the Slovakian public.
History of Anniversary of the Memorandum of the Slovak Nation
The beginning of national movements in Slovakia dates back to the 1840s when Slovakia was under the rule of a monarch. The neo-absolutist regime restricted political and public activity, which agitated the majority of the public leaders to start a movement to fight for their national rights. The situation was further fueled by the complete indifference to the needs and interests of non-Magyar nations which were part of the Hungarian Empire. Slovakia was one of those nations.
This ignorance led to the birth of the Memorandum at the hands of the Slovak National Assembly. The document laid out conditions and basic legal and political demands. However, the effort did not bear much fruit as the ruling party tried to suppress their voices by imposing a ban on their cultural association, Matica Slovenská, and the Slovak Gymnazia, two of the major institutes that had Slovak as the mode of instruction. With the downfall of these institutes, the Slovaks realized that they couldn’t sit quietly any longer. They founded the Slovak National Party in 1871, and decided on a tactic of electoral passivity in 1884, to raise their voice against the electoral system and national policies that did not favor the Slovaks.
This tussle went on till 1918 when Slovakia joined hands with the Czech Republic to become a common state. However, even this union led to a lot of regional clashes. It was only in 1992 that the Czecho-Slovak Federative Republic was dissolved, and in 1993, Slovakia became an independent, full-fledged nation.
Anniversary of the Memorandum of the Slovak Nation timeline
Slovak nationalists issue a manifesto of 14 demands, prompted by the realization that the Hungarian monarchy would not heed their call for the establishment of public assemblies and the acceptance of a Slovak petition.
On June 7, the Slovak National Assembly of town and village representatives adopts the Memorandum, whose major author is Štefan Marko Daxner, as a political program.
The Slovak National Council, constituted under the leadership of Matúš Dula, declares Slovakia as a fully-fledged nation.
Czechoslovakia witnesses the establishment of a democratic system.
20,000 silver coins in the 10 Euro denomination are minted to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the adoption of the memorandum.
Anniversary of the Memorandum of the Slovak Nation FAQs
Is this a public holiday in Slovakia?
It’s surely a day of celebration but not a public holiday. All businesses and workplaces remain open on this day.
Is English the official language of Slovakia?
English is the most widely spoken foreign language in Slovakia. However, Slovak is its official language.
Is the anniversary of the Memorandum the only remembrance day in Slovakia?
There are a few other remembrance days. Slovakia celebrates Foreign Slovaks Day, Reformation Day, and Matica Slovenská Day, to name a few.
How to Observe Anniversary of the Memorandum of the Slovak Nation
Get to know the Slovak culture
This is an opportune day to get to know more about Slovakia and its people. It’s time to explore!
Read up on its political history
Dig up the history of the Memorandum, and find out the role it played in shaping the nation of Slovakia. Get into the other parts of the Slovaks' highly inspiring struggle for freedom and identity, and be inspired.
Wish your Slovakian friends
If you have friends from Slovakia, greet them on this special occasion and make their day. They may be pleasantly surprised that you’re aware of this somewhat obscure memorial and feel appreciated by you.
5 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Slovakia
A capital with two borders
The Slovakian capital, Bratislava, is the only capital in the world that shares boundaries with two nations — Austria and Hungary.
Land of castles
If you love fairy tales about kings and queens, Slovakia is the perfect haven for you — it’s home to the highest number of chateaux in the world.
Free train rides
If you’re under 26 years of age and in Slovakia, congratulations because all train rides are free for you.
Slovakia houses the world’s tallest Gothic altar made of wood.
The tallest cave column
The Krasnohorska Cave in Slovakia has the highest (over 100 feet) sinter column formed in a unique karst.
Why Anniversary of the Memorandum of the Slovak Nation is Important
The national movement
This anniversary acknowledges the Slovakian ancestors who struggled to establish their national identity. It helps the world remember these brave men and their inspiring acts.
A day of celebration
This is a day to celebrate the Slovakian spirit by drinking and making merry. Join in the fun and say three cheers!
Back to the roots
It’s a memorable part of the history of Slovakia and its people. Observing this day is a way of showing respect.
Anniversary of the Memorandum of the Slovak Nation dates