United States of America recognised the Republic of Estonia de jure on 28 July 1922, which established official diplomatic relations.
For the anniversary year, we have compiled a timeline of Estonian–USA relations. It is a chronological gallery of historical photographs, documents, and texts, which provides an overview of the important moments of the relations between the two countries over 100 years.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the collection of facts, photos, and documents!
To see the photo titles, move your cursor to the photo.
Happy time travelling!
Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in Washington
The Estonians who had become refugees also had a significant role in the resistance to the Soviet occupation. Tens of thousands of Estonians fled from the Soviet terror in 1944, including politicians who continued their work in exile. Estonian organisations were established in different foreign countries, which helped to preserve the Estonian culture and fought for the restoration of sovereignty in cooperation with the Estonian diplomats who had remained abroad and the government in exile.
In the United States, the central resistance organisation was founded in New York on 6 February 1941 and named the World Association of Estonians, Inc (WAE). Johannes E. Markus was elected the chairman.
The WAE immediately started to fulfil its main purpose: to notify the United States Government, politicians, and the public about what was happening in Estonia. When tens of thousands of Estonians fled from the second Soviet occupation in 1944, the field of duties of the WAE expanded further.
The arrival of thousands of Estonian refugees in the United States based on the so-called Displaced Persons Act required reorganisation. In the period of 1947–1950, discussions were held of whether the association to be created should be based on organisations or members. It was decided that the WAE had to be based on members who were selected by general elections.
As a result of preliminary work, the first congress of Estonian organisations in the United States was assembled in the New York Estonian House on 1 September 1951. More than thirty Estonian organisations in the United States were represented. The congress formed the foundation for the Estonian American National Council. The organisation was initially referred to as the Estonian National Council in the United States.
The elections of the first council of the EANC were held on 23–25 May 1952. The first assembly of the council took place in the New York Estonian House on 19 July 1952.
The organisation remains active to this day. Its work is focussed on the preservation of Estonian language and culture abroad.
The work of the US Embassy is currently being managed by temporary chargé d’affaires Brian Roraff