Today Azerbaijanis celebrate the Republic day that honors the date on which the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic (ADR) was founded in 1918 as the first democratic republic in the entire Muslim East.
On May 18, Azerbaijan’s National Council declared the independent Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which marked the country’s independence from the Russian Tsar regime.
The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic existed only 23 months. After the Bolshevik 11th Red Army’s occupation of Azerbaijan on April 28, 1920, the republic collapsed.
Although short-lived, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic left impressive mark in the Azerbaijani history, making series of reforms in many fields including freedom of education, religion and conscience. ADR was a parliamentary state, had a flag, an anthem and an army.
ADR is also remembered for being the first Muslim republic to give women the right to vote in 1918 before the United States, France and a number of other progressive countries.
Since 1990, May 28 has been celebrated as a national holiday in Azerbaijan.