The Croatian state was recognized for the first time in history in the year 879, and this was right in Nin. In the early Middle Ages, during the period of the Croatian rulers, duke Branimir came to the throne in 879 by military takeover.
The preceding ruler Zdeslav had started to turn towards the Byzantine Empire politically and religiously. Pope John VIII induced by the Croat loyalty to the Catholic Church and Rome, sent a letter to the new Croatian ruler Branimir on July 7, 879.in which he gave his blessing to the Croatian state and people.
On Ascension Day of Christ in 879, Pope John VIII celebrated mass for the entire Croatian nation and sent his blessings to them, their state and ruler, which meant international acknowledgement. It was unusual for the time to have the pope send blessings to a ruler that had militarily taken over the throne.
This proved how important for the pope was the loyalty of the Croats to the Catholic church, and to him as God’s advocate. This acknowledgement of the state was one of the key moments of the birth and creation of the Croatian state. Today Nin celebrates its feast day on June 7 and the Republic of Croatia celebrates diplomacy day on this date due to the importance of this historical acknowledgement of the Croatian state whose center had then become Nin.