Czechoslovak Independence Day

Czechoslovak Independence Day

October 28
The Republic of Czechoslovakia was founded on October 28, 1918, when the National Committee in Prague proclaimed independence from the Austrian Hapsburg emperors and took over the administration of an independent Czechoslovak state. They were supported in this move by President Woodrow Wilson, who sent a note to the Austro-Hungarian foreign minister urging that the various nationalities of the empire be allowed to determine their own political future.
Independence Day was widely celebrated in Czechoslovakia until the Communists seized power there in 1948 and turned it into a Soviet satellite. But it continued to be recognized in the United States with special banquets, addresses, religious services, cultural programs, and the laying of a wreath at the tomb of President Wilson at the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul (also known as the National Cathedral, or Washington Cathedral) in Washington, D.C.
Communities with large Czech or Slovak populations such as New York City, Los Angeles, Wilber, Nebraska, and Newark, New Jersey, may also mark the occasion.
This day should not be confused with Czechoslovak Liberation Day, a national holiday observed on May 9 to commemorate the country's liberation by the Soviet army and U.S. forces at the end of World War II.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Czech Republic
3900 Spring of Freedom St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-274-9103; fax: 202-363-6308
www.mzv.cz/washington
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 179 (c)