Watch: Miss Rīga beauty pageant turns 30
In spring 1988, the Iron Curtain was gradually lifting, and Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost policy paved way for attempts at democracy across the Soviet Union. Amid that atmosphere, a nationally significant event was held in Rīga: namely, the Miss Rīga 88 beauty pageant, the first such pageant in Latvia following the 1940 Soviet occupation, reports Latvian Radio. 
Things to know about the United Baltic Duchy
On April 12, 1918 in Riga, a union of local, German-dominated land councils announced independence from Russia and declared a constitutional monarchy. The body (Der Vereinigte Landesrat für Livland, Estland, Ösel und Riga) set up a delegation which pleaded for recognition of the new United Baltic Duchy in Berlin. 
Things to know about the Finnish Civil War
German forces landed on the shores of southern Finland on April 3, 1918 to put an end to the Finnish Civil War that had raged for more than two years, with more than 40,000 perishing on both sides. It involved Rüdiger von der Goltz, a German general, whose wildly differing roles in the history of Latvia and Finland illustrate the complexities of history. 
The Latvian ghost village at the "101st kilometer"
Among the many unwanted legacies of the Soviet occupation of Latvia are several ghost villages who once housed the outcasts of the Communist regime - people who for one reason or another were barred from living in Rīga.
'Freedom Square' name confirmed
Latvia will gain a new square in the near future after Riga City Council on March 23 approved designating the open area around the iconic Freedom Monument "Freedom square" (Brīvības laukums)
Things to know about early Latvian conservative politicians
The best-remembered Latvian politicians of the early 20th century come from the Bolsheviks (Pēteris Stučka, Jūlijs Daniševskis), the social democrats (Rainis, Fricis Menders, and Pauls Kalniņš), as well as nationalists like Kārlis Ulmanis, Jānis Čakste and Miķelis Valters. The conservatives, however, are less known, but nevertheless they were very much in the public eye in spring 1918, because the rest had gone underground or fled to Russia. 
How the Duchy of Courland was briefly resurrected in 1918
On March 8, 1918 the local Baltic German-dominated Kurländischer Landtag (state diet), in Jelgava, proclaimed the reinstatement of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia. 123 years had passed since it annexed by the Russian Empire. Pro-German forces were trying to reanimate a state-like body closely related to the German Empire.
What to know about the German occupation of Vidzeme in 1918
On February 28, 1918 the German forces took Gulbene, which housed the headquarters of the Russian 1st Army. This meant all of Latvia's territory was occupied by German forces, a state of affairs that would last for the next nine months. 
It's 100 years since Estonia declared independence
Estonia's independence was declared on February 24, 1918, in Tallinn. The next day Estonia's independence drive was quashed by the invading Germans, who captured the city. Like Latvia and Lithuania, Estonia had to wait a further nine months to become fully independent. 
Rīga to gain "Freedom Square"
Riga City Council City Development Committee on Monday, February 19, approved the naming of the territory around the iconic Freedom Monument as "Freedom square" (Brīvības laukums).
It's 100 years since Lithuania declared its independence
On February 16, 1918 Lithuania declared its renewed independence, which had been interrupted by Russia in 1795. The event took place in German-occupied Vilnius, and was the second declaration of independence within a few months. In a key difference from the declaration that had been adopted in 1917, which was dictated by the German powers, the February 16 document stipulated that Lithuania is fully independent both from Germany and Russia.
Renovated Salaspils memorial opens new exhibition
The Salaspils Memorial, a key location in the holocaust history of occupied Latvia has finally unveiled its new permanent exposition, which will tell visitors about the complicated history of the Salaspils camp and will allow them to learn more about the no less complex story of the creation of the memorial itself. 
Quand l'intelligentisa de Lettonie a rêvé de la France
World War II didn't really end in 1945, for Latvia. More than 100,000 war refugees couldn't go back home. The people who did remain were stripped of their property, with collectivization in full swing. Soviet secret service arrested at least 40,000 people in the years following the war. An episode of a new LTV show, Atslēgas shows how the repressive state tried to take away the last freedom people had left. Namely, their freedom to think. 
The twilight of democratic Russia in 1918
On January 18, 1918 the first and final meeting of the All Russian Constituent Assembly was held in Petrograd to march on the Tauride Palace. The very next day, it was dissolved by the Bolsheviks.
Students working to save the wooden windows of Rēzekne
A group of students in Latvia's eastern Latgale region is working to record one of its most distinctive cultural features - beautiful and sometimes ornate wooden windows that can sometimes be found in even the humblest homes. 
Three things to know about Latvians working for the Cheka
On December 20, 1917 the Council of People's Commissars issued a decree creating an organization, The All-Russian Emergency Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage. This was the Bolshevik secret police. Soon after, an initialism, Cheka, was coined for this horrible organization, which carried out mass terror inside Russia. 
Three facts about Latvian Riflemen taking Petrograd in December 1917
On December 8, 1917 the Russian capital Petrograd saw train arrivals from Vidzeme, carrying soldiers from the 6. Tukums Latvian Riflemen Regiment. Latvian Riflemen were to ensure order in Bolshevik-seized Petrograd. The Bolsheviks among them were entrusted with guarding the Soviet government.
Happy independence day from... everyone!

November 18 is the day upon which the Latvian Republic was declared in 1918, and consequently is independence day - the Latvian equivalent of July 4 in the United States.

Latvia marks Lāčplēša Diena

Speeches and ceremonies are the order of the day November 11 with Latvia holding its day of remembrance (Lāčplēša Diena) for the military and freedom fighters who dies during the struggle for independence.