University of Pittsburgh
February 22, 2000

SLOVAK EMBASSY TO BE REPRESENTED AT PITT NATIONALITY ROOM COMMITTEE'S MASARYK CELEBRATION

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 23 -- Jan Orlovsky, the first secretary of the Slovak Embassy in Washington, D.C., will speak at the University of Pittsburgh 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.

In addition to Orlovsky, Antonin Hradilek, deputy chief of mission of the Czech Embassy, Washington D.C., will speak. Pitt Professor Zdenek Suda will introduce the delegates.

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.

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