Timeline

 

  • 1914: Beginning of World War I 1918: Independence of Czechoslovakia after World War I and the establishment of a Parliamentary republic under President Masaryk and National Assembly


  • October 5th, 1936: Vaclav Havel born in Prague, Czechoslovkia


  • 1938: Czechoslovakia cedes Sudetenland to Germany to avoid war


  • 1939: Slovakia claims independence, Germans pour into Moravia and Bohemia beginning the German occupation


  • September 1st, 1939: World War II begins with Hitlerís invasion of Poland


  • May 7th, 1945: German surrender to the Allies and the end of World War II


  • May 9th, 1945: Russian and American forced liberate Prague


  • 1946: Russian Communists gain control of the Czech government under Prime Minister and later President Klement Gottwald


  • 1948: Havelís family lost all their wealth and property in the Communist Russian occupation


  • 1954: Havel completes secondary education


  • 1955: Warsaw Pact military alliance formed, including Czechoslovakia; Havel begins study at Czechoslovakia University of Technology, starts publishing articles in literary-theatrical magazines


  • 1957: Havel graduates from Czechoslovakia University of Techonology, and fulfills military service in the Czechoslovakian Army


  • 1959: Havel works as a stage hand at the ABC Prague Theatre


  • 1962: Beginning of the liberal period of Prague Spring under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek and Ludvik Svobada; Havel enters Prague Academy of Dramatic Art


  • 1964: Havel marries Olga Splichalova


  • 1968: Summer of Tanks begins with the communist invasion of Czechoslovakia against Dubcek, replacing him with the conservative Gustav Husak; crushing Havelís reform movement


  • 1975: Havel arrested for a letter to President Gustav Husak protesting the oppression of the government and civil ills of the country


  • January, 1977: Charter 77 human rights document produced and signed by citizens including Havel and distributed secretly throughout the country


  • April, 1979: Sentenced to four and a half years of hard labor in addition to five years of prison for co-founding the Committee of Defense of the Unjustly Persecuted (VONS)


  • 1989: Havel becomes a leader of the Civic Forum, delivers rally in Vaclavsje Square in Prague; Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia begins with support of Czech civilians


  • November 17th, 1989: Massacre of students at a demonstration in Wenceslas Square, beginning the bloodless Velvet Revolution


  • November 24th,1989: Communist government resigns


  • December 29th, 1989: After the establishment of a constitution, Vaclav Havel was elected as the country's new, nonpartisan president, and inaugurated at Prague Castle.


  • June 1990: Reelected for a term extending to 1992


  • July 20th, 1992: Movement for a Democratic Slovakia emerges as Slovakia's leading party begins Slovakian nationalistic movement for autonomy; Havel resigns from office to show disapproval and unwillingness to preside over the impending "Velvet Divorce"


  • January 1st, 1993: Official dissolution of Czechoslovakia as a united country to form Czech Republic and Slovakia occurred


  • January 26th, 1993: Havel put back in office by election as President of the new Czech Republic.


  • 1996: Olga dies of cancer; Havel is diagnosed with lung cancer, suffers from chronic bronchitis


  • January, 1997: Marries film star Dagmar Veskrmova who had nursed him


  • 1998: Havel commences his final term as president (in accordance with parliamentary limit of 2 consecutive 5-year presidential terms) despite doubts about his ability to rule on account of medical complications; Havel has operation on ruptured intestines


  • 2002: Havel hosts and organizes NATO summit at Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, which doubled as an event of international farewell to his presidency; Czech Republic invited to join the European Union


  • February 3rd, 2003: Havelís official term termination after 13 years as president of the Czech Republic