The Origin of Czech Motorways (Puvod Ceskych Dalnic)

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D1 in the 1960s (D1 v 60tych letech)

70 years ago, Karel Chmel, then-employee of Velitelstvi stavby dalkovych silnic (VSDS) “headquarters of building long-distance roads”, invented the word “dalnice” (motorway). He did so after the invitation of the master of VSDS Vaclava Nosek. Motorway plans had already started in 1935. One of the problems was to find a suitable route. Bata’s route from Cheb to the Velky Bockov won in 1938, but the plans were changed during World War II, when Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany. The Czech motorways of today don’t resemble the initial plans, but they are growing in all directions thanks to funding from the EU.
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Looking for Czech and Slovak Books? (Hledate Ceske a Slovenske Knihy?)

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It is hard to live abroad and speak a second language. We do speak English at home but sometimes we just miss watching Czech and Slovak movies or reading books and periodicals that our family members bring over during their visits. We were also very happy when we found out that we could also find some very priceless pieces of Czechoslovak history right here in the United States.

 

One of the places where you can find Czech and Slovak publications is The University of Chicago Library. Their Archives of Czechs and Slovaks Abroad (ACASA) consist of several thousands of books, brochures, almanacs, periodicals, and personal papers of Czechs and Slovaks, who have lived outside of Czechoslovakia for a while. Most of them were published in North America in the past 150 years. Their collection, however, also includes titles originating in Western Europe, Australia, or South America.

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Hasal’s Family Priceless Gift (Nedocenitelny Dar Hasalovy Rodiny)

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On September 4th, our Czech Ambassador in Washington, D.C. Petr Kolar, held a ceremony at which Dagmar White, daughter of General Antonin Hasal (1893 – 1960), donated her father’s WWII uniform to the permanent collection of the Military History Institute in Prague. This generous gift showed how much this family is still connected to the Czech Republic, Antonin Hasal’s home country.

 

General Hasal was born in 1893 in the Austro-Hungarian town Nova Hut pod Nizborem. During World War I, he was called to serve in the Austro-Hungarian Army but he decided to volunteer for the Czechoslovak legion in Russia. He returned to Czechoslovakia as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1920 and later he became Lieutenant General.

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