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Marking 60 Years Since The First RFE Broadcasts To Czechoslovakia

Just after the Velvet Revolution, Czechoslovaks gather in Wenceslas Square in Prague to support Vaclav Havel as president of the newly independent nation.
WASHINGTON, DC -- On May 1, 1951, the first director of the "Voice of Free Czechoslovakia" vowed that RFE’s programs would "smash the communist monopoly on speaking to the Czech nation." Sixty years later, BBG Chairman Walter Isaacson addressed a celebration of the anniversary of RFE’s first broadcasts to communist Czechoslovakia at an event co-hosted with the Czech Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.

"We have to always remember that the idea of credible information is on the side of individual liberty and democracy," he said. "That’s what Radio Free Europe has stood for – and that’s what we hope to uphold in the future."

To mark the anniversary, RFE staff produced this video on the history of RFE's Czechoslovak broadcasts.

60th Anniversary-Czech Service
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- Sigrid Lott