Already in its very first issue, dated September 15, 1893, Svoboda atop its front page quoted as its credo the immortal words of Taras Shevchenko: “Study my brothers, think and read, learn what others have to offer, but do not forget your own.” Therefore, it was no surprise that the fraternal benefit society to which Svoboda gave birth on February 22, 1894, the Ukrainian National Association, chose the great bard of Ukraine as its patron. In 1961, the Ukrainian National Association, jointly with the Shevchenko Scientific Society, published “Our Shevchenko: A Collection of Works Commemorating the Centennial of the Poet’s Death.” Three years later, the UNA published a jubilee almanac dedicated to Shevchenko on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the poet’s birth. That almanac was released in the same year the UNA was celebrating its own 70th anniversary and in the year the Shevchenko monument was built and unveiled in Washington. A special book dedicated to Shevchenko was published by the UNA in 1989 to mark the 175th anniversary of his birth; it was titled “To our Patron – from the Ukrainian National Association.” The most recent UNA publication in honor of its patron was the UNA Almanac of 2014, which celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Shevchenko as well as the 120th anniversary of the UNA’s founding.
A photo archive of UNA history has been launched on the UNA website. It is a work in progress that will be expanded and refined. To take a look, go to unainc.org/una/the-una-is-125-years-old/.