Radio Free Europe 1951–2011
Sixty years ago, in May of 1951, the first notes of the Radio Free Europe signature tune were broadcast into the air, marking the beginning of Radio Free Europe’s Czechoslovak newsroom broadcasting.
Czech Radio, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty and the Faculty of Art of Charles University, Prague would like to symbolically draw attention to this chapter in Czech national history in which a single free voice of one free radio had enormous significance for the very essence of freedom.
A number of events have been prepared for the occasion of the 60th anniversary of broadcasting by Radio Free Europe; in various ways, they encompass both looking back into the past and the very modern subject of the need for freedom of speech. We are preparing a comprehensive publication on the subject of the history of Radio Free Europe, an international conference will be held in the Senate of the Czech Parliament, an exhibition will be opened in Wallenstein Garden and a gala concert of the Symphony Orchestra of Czech Radio will be held to commemorate this occasion. Czech Radio is devoting considerable attention to the anniversary in its broadcasting and a literary competition will be held amongst secondary school students with emphasis on acquainting the younger generation with this important era in Czech national history.
The events are being held under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Nečas, and the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, Iveta Radičová. The events in the Senate of the Czech Parliament will be held under the auspices of the Deputy Chairman of the Senate, Přemysl Sobotka. We are glad that they have thus confirmed our opinion that, even twenty years after the fall of the dictatorial Communist regime, this commemorative event has an irreplaceable role and is very important.