Historical Holiday: Day of the Proclamation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovens (1 December)

This was an official holiday from 1918 until the beginning of the Second World War.  

King Alexander I Karadjordjevic

The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was officially proclaimed on 1 December 1918 in Belgrade.

The proclamation was made by then regent Aleksandar Karađorđević. He was crowned king of the country in 1921 and was assassinated in Marseilles in 1934.

This was the first united country of the south Slavs. It included the territories of what is today Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, as well as large parts of present-day Slovenia and Croatia.

1929, the country was renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

The monarchy was lead by the Serbian Karađorđević dynasty. Its foundation was made possible after the First World War and the break-ups of the two powerful empires that used to occupy these territories, the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empire.

After the Second World War the kingdom officially ceased to exist. Yugoslavia became the union of six socialist republics. The new socialist government prohibited the king from returning to the country and he remained in exile in Great Britain until his death.

The territory of the country expanded when the penninsula of Istria was separated from Italy and was added to the newly formed socialist Yugoslavia. The union broke up in a violent way in the 1990s.

Published Dec. 14, 2010 1:07 PM - Last modified Dec. 14, 2010 1:45 PM