On this day in 1903, Macedonians rose up in the Ilinden Uprising against the harsh rule of the Ottoman Empire. For a while, they were successful, but soon the Ottoman forces crushed the rebellion and took revenge by killing people and destroying thousands of homes.
And on this day in 1944, the Republic of Macedonia was established. It was part of the communist nation of Yugoslavia.
It wasn't until 1991 that Macedonia was able to establish true independence, as Soviet-backed Yugoslavia broke apart. Independence day on September 8 celebrates this 1991 beginning of the modern Republic of Macedonia; still, August 2 is also celebrated as a patriotic public holiday.
Do you know where Macedonia is?
Macedonia is a small landlocked nation on the Balkan peninsula in eastern Europe. Its neighbors include Kosovo, Servia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania.
When was Macedonia powerful?
In ancient times, in the 300s B.C.E., Philip II of Macedon conquered nearby lands and made them a part of his kingdom. His son, Alexander the Great, conquered even more lands and built up the kingdom even larger—as a matter of fact, Macedonia was one of the largest empires of ancient history. Alexander the Great was undefeated in battle and is considered one of the most successful military commanders of ALL time!