In memory of Karlis Ulmanis.
Karlis Ulmanis, born in 1877 into a Latvia that was under the yoke of the Russian Empire, was a leader in the fight for Latvian independence in the early part of the 20th century. After the 1917 Russian Revolution, Ulmanis, together with other nationalists, formed a Latvian national council that proclaimed independence in November 1918. Ulmanis was appointed the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia. He helped establish the new nation, which faced threats from Russian as well as German forces following WWI. Ulmanis organized elections and the first Saeima (parliament) convened in August 1920. Ulmanis served various terms in the Latvian government in the decades following, coming to power for the last time as President in 1934 – 1940. In June 1940, Ulmanis resigned, under an ultimatum issued by the Soviet Union, as Soviet forces began occupying the country. Ulmanis was arrested and deported to Russia, and died in a Soviet prison in 1942.