Today marks the 90th anniversary of the official proclamation of Czechoslovakia (October 28, 1918). This day has been celebrated in various guises: First as the establishing of the independent, democratic republic and its first president, Tomas G. Masaryk. After WWII and the communist takeover, the emphasis was shifted to liberation after 300 years of Habsburg monarchy, and then to the Nationalization DecreesThe decrees were signed on October 24, 1945 and nationalized mines, banks and some industrial enterprises effective on October 27..
Since Czechoslovakia peacefully split into separate Czech and Slovak Republics at the end of 1992, some people have been questioning the continued celebration of this date. But the historical significance of those events in defining the European political landscape after WWI is indisputable and should not be recalculated from the perspective of local political decisions made in early 1990s.
October 28 is also tied to other historical events: Christopher Columbus landed on Cuba on this day in 1492 on his first voyage; and 470 years later the New World (as well as the Old) breathed a sigh of relief at the end of the two-week-long Cuban missile crisis. In 1954, the Kingdom of the Netherlands was constitutedThe proclamation of the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands defined, among other things, the relations between Netherlands and its former colonies in a federal spirit.. Greece and Cyprus are celebrating this day for the rejection of Mussolini’s ultimatum, which led them into war in 1940. Britain launched its one and only satellite in 1971, and Bethesda Softworks is launching its action sequel Fallout 3 today.