To get acquainted, to understand and to take pride – this was the slogan of the Historical Presidential Palace at the outset of the 5-year-project “Waiting for the Centennial: the Most Significant Events of the First Republic of Lithuania.” The team of the museum was the first to focus on the approaching centennial anniversary of the modern State of Lithuania. It sought for forms of activity exerting longterm influence on the society. Thus the ephemeral noisy campaigns were rejected and instead focus was laid on activities promoting coherent cognition of the history of the State and participation in the events.
The modernized and updated exposition introduces the Presidents of the First Republic of Lithuania (1918–1940) in traditional and innovative ways. Three presidents took the presidential oath of office: Antanas Smetona spend the whole 15 years in this office; Aleksandras Stulginskis – 6 years (including 2 years, when as the Chairman of the Constituent Seimas he was an Acting President); and Kazys Grinius had barely 6 months, a short term ended by Coup d’État. The President was elected by Seimas. The State President’s institution underwent many serious changes over two decades of the First Republic of Lithuania – changing from nominal and representative to autocracy. This evolution may be traced in explicit photo galleries, documentary films, and president’s speeches that are available on a touch-screen terminal.
A permanent historical exhibition of representative portraits, pieces of art that originally decorated the interior of the Palace, gifts to the Presidents, surviving authentic furniture, historical pictures recording the Presidents’ foreign and internal activities, public activities, pictures from personal life and many more things that tell the story of the First Republic of Lithuania (1918-1940).