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Inspiration & Friendship

Inspiration & Friendship

The Czech Republic’s anniversary marks a centennial milestone in the founding of a democracy as well as its inspiration in American values and ideals, such as a representative government and the separation of church and state, which so influenced Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. Married to an American, Masaryk formed friendships with the likes of American millionaire Charles Richard Crane, who sponsored artist Alphonse Mucha’s Slavonic Epic. Still, others before Masaryk inspired profound transatlantic ties, such as early settlers like cartographer Augustine Herman, who produced the first map of Virginia and Maryland, and classical composer Antonín Dvořák, who in New York produced the symphony From the New World, to which US Astronaut Neil Armstrong took man’s first steps on the moon. In recent history, the inspiration continued when America opened its arms to Oscar-winning director Miloš Forman, tennis legend Martina Navrátilová, and Ivana Trump. Czech-Americans celebrate their heritage through their love for Czech food, beer, music, and traditional dress. Meanwhile, in the United States Capitol, a bust of Václav Havel, only the fourth foreign leader represented, sits, a powerful message of mutual respect and belief in human rights, justice, and freedom. 

Unveiling a bust of Václav Havel at the U.S. Capitol in 2014
Photo courtesy: František Gebr


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