University of Pittsburgh
February 17, 2000

PITT NATIONALITY ROOM COMMITTEE TO HONOR FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF CZECHOSLOVAK REPUBLIC Country Created In Pittsburgh

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 18 -- The University of Pittsburgh is co-sponsoring a ceremony to commemorate the 150th birthday of Thomas G. Masaryk, founder and first president of the Czechoslovak Republic, on Tuesday, March 7, at 1:30 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Agreement Memorial, CNG Tower vestibule, 635 Liberty Ave.

Sponsored by Pitt's Czechoslovak Room Committee, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, and the Pittsburgh-Ostrava Sister City Committee, the event also recognizes the historic Pittsburgh Agreement.

In 1918 Masaryk, a member of the Czech Parliament, traveled to the U.S. to meet with President Woodrow Wilson. He helped unite North American Czechs and Slovaks to support an independent Czechoslovakia. In the City of Pittsburgh on May 30, 1918, Masaryk and President Wilson signed the agreement which expressed the will of the Czechs and Slovaks to live in one free democratic state.

Speakers at the celebration will include Antonin Hradilek, deputy chief of mission of the Czech Embassy, Washington D.C., and William Lafe, chairperson of the Pittsburgh-Ostrava Sister City Committee.

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