On 2 May 1843, Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski delivered the first speech in the Croatian language before the Croatian Parliament calling for the introduction of the Croatian mother tongue in public service and education instead of the then official Latin language.
Addressing the gathered noblemen, MPs and religious communities’ representatives, he said: “… this is the only way for us to remain Croats and Slavonians in Croatia and Slavonia, and a free, independent nation in the world. We do not think our language still inadequate for introducing it into public concerns: why, it was the diplomatic language of Croatian and Serbian kings more than 800 years ago and in time of the Ottoman Empire as well! It is so rich, so refined, so euphonious, as few languages are; amongst other Slavic dialogues it possesses an inexhaustible treasure: why should we, therefore, fear and hesitate about introducing it in the public life; why should we fear to declare we want our laws and orders to be written in our beautiful mother tongue, if other nations whose languages are much rougher and poorer than ours did not fear? He who has his own identity should not assume that of a foreigner!...“
Four years had passed since Kukuljević’s deliberation before the Croatian language was designated official.