Almost everyone who lived in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia remember to the smallest detail the moment when they found out that the heart of the president Josip Broz Tito stopped beating.
It was a sunny day, Sunday, May 4 in 1980. At 3:05 p.m. exactly, the Yugoslav radio-television published the sad news.
Leader of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, a triple Marshall, founder of the Non-Aligned Movement and President of a country where 22 million people lived, died after a severe disease. He passed away in the Clinical Center in Ljubljana and is buried in the House of Flowers on Dedinje, Belgrade.
Radio host Miodrag Zdravković announced the news of Tito’s death: “Comrade Tito passed away… This was stated tonight by the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and the Presidency of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia to the working class, working people and citizens, nations and nationalities of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia,” Zdravković said then.
Until the beginning of the war in the former Yugoslavia, sirens could be heard across the country on every May 4 at 3:05 p.m. In that moment, traffic would stop on the streets, pedestrians would stop as well, workers would stand still on their workplaces, and the country thus collectively paid tribute to its greatest leader.