Estonian Provisional Government decided on 12 February 1919 to consider 24 February to be the date of the declaration of independence. In 1933, the Government discussed whether the national day should be moved to another date at a better time of the year, such as 15 June, to mark the date when the Estonian Constituent Assembly adopted the
Constitution in 1920. Hugo Kuusner requested on 21 February 1937 that the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia should be 23 February, not 24 February.
Gottlieb Ney, the director of the
National Archives of Estonia said that "… one must reach the conclusion that the 24 February 1918 should be considered the date when the republic began; it is the day when the declaration of independence reached the capital city and actually went to the supreme powers of elected bodies (at that time the
Estonian Salvation Committee and the provisional government)."
28 November 1917
On 28 November [
O.S. 15 November] 1917 the
Estonian Provincial Assembly met in Toompea Castle and proclaimed itself "Estonia's sole bearer of a higher power." The decision not to use the word "state" was adopted by 48 members of the Provincial Assembly present, with 9 abstentions (who were mostly socialist revolutionaries, along with a couple of
Mensheviks). The Estonian Provincial Assembly called for Estonian soldiers to immediately and quickly come from all over Estonia. Some sources have referred this date to as "The Real Estonian Independence Day".
23 February 1918
On 23 February 1918 the Manifest of All Peoples was published in
Pärnu which declared an independent and democratic
Republic of Estonia.
24 February 1918
On 24 February 1918 it was published in
23 June 1919
On 23 June 1919 in the
Estonian War of Independence, troops during the
Battle of Võnnu defeated a German division. This event is celebrated in Estonia as the Day of Victory.
2 February 1920
On 2 February 1920,
Soviet Russia signed the
Tartu Peace Treaty which made Estonia a
de jure independent state.
16 November 1988
On 16 November 1988, the
Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR adopted the
Estonian Sovereignty Declaration, which asserted Estonia's sovereignty and the supremacy of the Estonian laws over the laws of the Soviet Union.
30 March 1990
On 30 March 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR adopted the resolution "On The State Status of Estonia", whereby it declared Soviet rule in
occupied Estonia to have been illegal since the start and declared a period of transition to restore the
Republic of Estonia.
8 May 1990
On 8 May 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR, during the last day of its existence, declared the
Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic invalid and re-established the Republic of Estonia. The government adopted a law on "the symbolism of Estonia" according to which Estonia's
national colors are blue, black and white. Paragraphs 1,2,4,5 and 6 of the
Constitution of Estonia stated that "Estonia – separate and independent state, the rule of power which is its people." Attempts to preserve the Soviet Union on the basis of a confederal agreement proposed by Moscow were rejected by the Estonian leadership.
20 August 1991
On 20 August 1991, during the
attempted coup in Moscow by the hardline Communist Party members, the Russian
76th Guards Air Assault Division arrived in
Tallinn. Volunteers organized protection of
Toompea and the
television broadcast tower. On The
Popular Front of Estonia organized a rally in
Freedom Square which called for the independence of Estonia. On the same day, late in the evening at 23:02, the Supreme Council of Estonia, along with the leadership of the Estonian Committee agreed an "On the independence of the Estonian state and the establishment of the Constitutional Assembly", thus proclaiming the restoration of Estonian independence.