A Chronology: Czechs and Slovaks in America

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A chronology: Czechs and Slovaks in America

1633: Augustine Hermann, escaping the Thirty Years' War, arrives in New York. He is believed to be the first Czech immigrant to America.

1748: Moravian Brethren Church founded in New York City by followers of Jan Hus.

1848: Large number of Czechs, fleeing political upheaval in Europe and Hapsburg control of Prague, seek refuge in the U.S.

1850: Exact date of arrival of first Czechs in Iowa is not known. However, some Czech pioneers settle along banks of the Iowa River in Johnson County, then move north to southern Linn County.

1854: Cesko-Slovanska Podporujici Spolecnost (CSPS) founded as first Czech-Slovak fraternal organization in U.S. at St. Louis. It evolves to Czechoslovak Society of America (CSA), headquartered in Chicago.

1858: The Bohemian Reformed Church of Ely organized, said to be first Bohemian Protestant church in the United States.

1860: First Czech newspaper in United States, Slovan Amerikansky, published at Racine, Wis.

1865: Sokols form in St. Louis; Cedar Rapids unit starts June 6, 1873.

1868: (Nov. 8): Formation of first Czech organization in Cedar Rapids, Ctenarsky Spolek (Reading Society).

1869: First Cedar Rapids Czech newspaper, Pokrok (Progress), moved from Racine, Wis.

1870: Czech School formed in Cedar Rapids.

1873: Slovak immigration to America, prompted by economic hardship, begins in significant numbers. Previously, they were included statistically among ruling Hungarians.

1874: Cornerstone laid for St. Wenceslaus, first Czech Catholic church in Cedar Rapids.

1880: Czech Reformed Church in Cedar Rapids holds first meeting at Sinclair packing plant.

1893: Noted Czech composer Antonin Dvorak spends summer in Spillville.

1897: Zapado-ceska bratrska jednota (ZCBJ or Western Bohemian Fraternal Society) split from CSPS and established in Cedar Rapids.

1902: Council of Higher Education formed in Cedar Rapids to create scholarships for Czech students.

1907 (Sept. 14): Thomas G. Masaryk, who in 1918 became president of Czechoslovakia, lectures at the Czech School in Cedar Rapids. He had visited the city several times before.

1917: Slovak Sokol of New York forms volunteer regiment to fight in World War I.

1918: Czechs and Slovaks form independent republic, Czechoslovakia, after 300 years under Austria-Hungarian rule.

1933: Czechoslovakia comes under complete German domination.

1944: Anti-Hitler demonstration, known as the Slovak National Uprising, erupts.

1945: War ends, Eduard Benes forms coalition government, but Communists take over in 1948 and Czechoslovakia becomes part of Soviet bloc.

1973: Czech Heritage Foundation launched in Cedar Rapids.

1974: Czech Fine Arts organization formed; changes name in 1989 to Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. Word ''National'' added in 1994.

1975: Czech Village Association begun.

1989: Czechoslovkian freedom once again won during Velvet Revolution. Vaclav Havel elected president.

1993: In peaceful resolution, Czechoslovakia is divided into Czech Republic and Slovak Republic effective Jan. 1, 1993.


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