Chicagoans Mark Adwa Victory Day | WBEZ
Skip to main content


Chicagoans Mark Adwa Victory Day

The Battle of Adwa in 1896 was the bloodiest of all colonial battles in Africa. 

From 1895 to 1896, Ethiopia — where the small town of Adwa is located — fought against Italian invaders. Italy wanted to turn Ethiopia into an Italian protectorate. 

Six years earlier, Italy signed the Wuchale Treaty of 1889. But the Italian and Amharic-language translations of the treaty differed, and Ethiopian Empress Taitu, wife of Emperor Menelik II, urged the emperor to reject the treaty. The Amharic translation gave Emperor Menelik II more autonomy than the Italian translation suggested. 

On March 1, 1896, Taitu led her own battalion to victory at the Battle of Adwa. 

Worldview discusses the battle and the Adwa Victory Day holiday, which occurs every March 2, with Dr. Paulos Milkias, a professor at Concordia University in Montreal. Dr. Paulos has published seven books and over 50 scholarly articles. He will be a keynote speaker at the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago’s (ECAC) Adwa Day Celebration Saturday March 31 at 1:00pm at 1730 W. Greenleaf Ave. Chicago, IL 60626.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.