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Feb 18, 2020

Capitol Hill Event Recalled Václav Havel´s Historic 1990 Speech to a Joint Session of Congress

The special event Václav Havel, Speaking Today took place in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, commemorating the 30th anniversary of Václav Havel’s address to Congress.


February 18, 6PM
The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Late Czechoslovak and Czech President Václav Havel delivered the powerful address before the Joint Session of the U. S. Congress on February 21, 1990, two months after being elected by the people and three months after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

The memorable evening began with a keynote address by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albrigt and continued with excerpts from the documentary Havel Speaking, Can You Hear Me? by director Petr Jančárek and reflections by Martin Palouš, President of the Václav Havel Library Foundation and Czech former Ambassador and UN Representative who worked closely with Havel.

The film captures the public and private moments of the last three years of former Czech President Václav Havel’s life. Havel travels the world, directs his feature film Leaving, and produces concerts for stars like Joan Baez and Lou Reed. Jančárek shows Havel’s life journey as an incredible road movie, covering his fight for human rights and dignity, but also his struggle with time running out on his own life.   

Honorary Co-Hosts of the event were House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

The event was presented by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C., Václav Havel Library Foundation, Czech Centres, American Friends of the Czech Republic, Florida International University (FIU) – Václav Havel, Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Endorfilm, and the Michael Kocab Foundation.

United States Capitol Visitor Center, Congressional Auditorium and Atrium (CVC 200), First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20515

Feb 18, 2020


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