Our History


The Estonian American National Council was established on July 19, 1952, in New York City by
post-World War II refugees seeking to restore independence in Estonia, while making a new life
in the United States. EANC was born from the need for a single national organization to unify
and lead Estonians exiled in the U.S. Its founding aim was to coordinate efforts in fighting
communism and liberating Estonia, along with the other nations trapped behind the Iron
Curtain, and it has a 70-year history of advocacy in the U.S. throughout the changing landscape
of Estonia’s occupation, its struggle for independence, and its evolution into a partner on the
world stage. In 2022 EANC celebrated its 70th anniversary of serving the Estonian American community. 

With the rebirth of Estonian independence in 1991, the focus of EANC’s work changed
somewhat, to support the security and stability of the Estonian state, while continuing to
preserve, protect, and promote Estonian heritage, culture and values in the United States.
EANC was involved in the transitional period, helping to form a temporary government
structure in Tallinn and formally insisting on legal continuity of the original Estonian Republic.
EANC pushed Congress to call for removal of Soviet troops from Estonian territory and called on
the U.S. government to provide assistance in establishing all key areas of the new democratic

EANC has a proud history of supporting and representing the Estonian community in the U.S.
The  XXIII council, elected in 2022, convened October 13-15, 2023, at the Lakewood Estonian House (NJ).

While emphasizing the importance of traditions and history, the Council continues adapt its mission as the community evolves.
EANC will continue its role as a resource for Estonian Americans to help maintain the
cohesive communities, cultural activities, connections to the Estonian language and heritage, and
advocacy for Estonian interests and security. 

EANC is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization sustained by voluntary, tax-deductible contributions
from the Estonian American community.