13. The Singing Revolution and The Baltic Way, 1987-89
The Singing Revolution is an umbrella term used to encompass various events that restored the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (Baltic States) from USSR after the end of the Cold War.
Coined by activist Heinz Valk, the term derives from the spontaneous mass singing at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds. The aftermath of World War II had seen the incorporation of the Baltic States into the USSR through military occupation and annexation.
In protests against this incorporation and further pacts that estranged the Baltic nations, people gathered for mass singings and even formed a continuous human chain connecting 2 million people spanning 675.5 km and joining the capitals of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
These non-violent and unique demonstrations ultimately led to the dissolution of USSR.