In the days before the internet, if you wanted information that your government would prefer you not to have, books were your only hope – as were book smugglers, such as Jurgis Bielinis, born on this very day in 1846 in what is now Lithuania but was then part of the Russian Empire.
Despite having only a primary school education, Bielinis overcame Russia's ban on the Lithuanian language and literature. He smuggled books, newspapers and magazines in both Latvian and Lithuanian, printed his own newspaper and wrote several pamphlets on the history of his nation.
Lithuanians commemorate today as Book Smuggler Day, so we are celebrating freedom of information, and freedom to choose your own language, with a Poet's Dream.
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