5th Anniversary of Czechoslovak Republic (1) (issued in 1923):
International Olympic Congress (2) in Prague (1925):
8th Sokol Congress (3) in Prague (1926):
1-3: Red Cross Fund (1920)
4-13: 10th Anniversary of Republic (1928)
14-16: St. Wenceslas (4) Millenary (1929)
17: President T. G. Masaryk (5) 80th Birthday (1930)
18-20: M. Tyrs (6) Birth Centenary (1932)
21,22: Town of Nitra 1100th Anniversary (1933)
23: B. Smetana (7) 50th Death Anniversary (1934)
24-27: Czechoslovak Legion (8) 20th Anniversary (1934)
28: A. Dvorak (9) 30th Death Anniversary (1934)
29: National Anthem (10) Centenary (1934)
30,31: President Masaryk 85th Birthday (1935)
32: Battle of Arras (11) 20th Anniversary (1935)
33: General M. Stefanik (12) 16th Death Anniversary (1935)
34: First National Catholic Congress in Prague: Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius (1935)
35.36: Child Welfare Fund (1936)
37: K. H. Macha (13) Death Centenary (1936)
38: Battle of Zborov (14) 20th Anniversary (1937)
39: Establishment of Little Entente (15) (1937)
40: J. E. Purkinje (16) 150th Birth Anniversary (1937)
1,2: Death of President Masaryk (1937)
3-5: Labor Congress in Prague (1937)
6: 10th Sokol Winter Games (1938)
7: Child Welfare and Masaryk Commemoration (1938)
8-10: WW1 Battles Anniversaries (1938)
11: 1938 10th Sokol Summer Games in Prague: J. Fuegner (17)
12: Provincial Economic Council in Pilsen (1938)
13: Cultural Exhibition in Kosice (1938)
14: 20th Anniversary of Republic (1938)
15: Inauguration of Slovak Parliament (1939)
Child Welfare (1937):
Miniature Sheet no. 1: Bratislava Philatelic Exhibition (1937):
Miniature Sheet no. 2: Bratislava Philatelic Exhibition (1937):
Miniature Sheet no. 3: Child Welfare and Masaryk Commemoration (1938):
Miniature Sheet no. 4: Prague Philatelic Exhibition (1938):
Miniature Sheet no. 5: 20th Anniversary of Republic (1938):
World War I, in 1916, together with E. Benes and M. Stefanik, T. Masaryk created
the Czechoslovak National Council. Masaryk in the United States, Stefanik in
France, and Benes in France and Britain worked tirelessly to gain Allied recognition.
When secret talks between the Allies and the last Austrian emperor collapsed,
the Allies recognized, in the summer of 1918, the Czechoslovak National Council
as the supreme organ of a future Czechoslovak government.
The independence of Czechoslovakia was officially proclaimed in Prague on October 28, 1918. The Slovaks officially joined the state 2 days later in the town of Martin. A temporary constitution was adopted and Masaryk was declared president. The Treaty of St. Germain, signed in September 1919 formally recognized the new republic. Ruthenia was later added to the Czech lands and Slovakia by the Treaty of Trianon.
(2) An Olympic Congress is a large gathering of representatives from the different constituencies of the Olympic Movement, organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The role of an Olympic Congress is consultative, thus all recommendations from the Congress must be submitted to the IOC Session for formal adoption. Olympic Congresses are not regular events in the IOC’s calendar. The first one (which founded and established the IOC and laid the groundwork for its statutes) was held in Paris in 1894. 8th Olympic Congress was held in Prague in 1925 and it covered Sports pedagogy and Olympic regulations themes.
(3) Sokol was established as the first Czech gymnastic organization in Austria-Hungary on the initiative of M. Tyrs and J. Fugner. The Gymnastic Club of Prague (later the Sokol of Prague) was founded in the presence of the prominent Czech patriots on 16 February 1862 and, within the same year, another eight clubs were constituted in the country. It was modeled after the German "Turnvereine" which played a role in German politics after the War of Liberation.
The patriotic orientation of the Sokol was manifested from its beginnings and its style – excursions in garbs, participation in national festivals, public sports training – encouraged the national self-confidence. During World War I the Sokols took great share in the establishment of Czechoslovak legions. The Sokol representatives became the organizers of the new Czechoslovak army.
Sokol lived through its golden age between the World Wars (1918 - 1938) when it became an organization consisting of a million members. Significant politicians, including the presidents Masaryk and Benes were among them. Sokol Halls, built with self-help, also rose in small municipalities. Sokol competitors successfully represented Czechoslovakia at Olympic Games and international championships. The program of Sokol was always broad, attractive to any social ranks and age groups. Besides regular training, there were various competitions, public performances, academies, cultural informal meetings, excursions, trips abroad, youth camps, theatre performances and puppet shows, musical and singing concerts, lectures and exhibitions. A large number of magazines and handbooks was published. The peak of these activities was the Sokol Rally.
(4) Wenceslas, was born near Prague in 903, and his father began his rule of Czechia in 915. He succeeded to the title at the age of 20. A devout Christian, he worked in harmony with the Church to bring religious and educational benefit to his people. To encourage the Christians he undertook the planning and building of churches. He sought contacts with Christians elsewhere, including the neighboring German Empire, whose political claims he was prepared to recognize. This brought him the hostility of a number of leading non-Christians in his own land, who gathered round Wenceslas’ own brother, Boleslav. Some henchmen carried out the murder of Wenceslas in 929.
T. G. Masaryk (1850-1937) was born in the predominantly Catholic city of Hodonín,
Moravia (then part of the Austrian Empire) to a working-class family. As a youth
he worked as a blacksmith. He studied in Brno, Vienna and Leipzig.
Masaryk served in the Austrian Parliament from 1891 to 1893 in the Young Czech Party and again from 1907 to 1914 in the Realist Party, becoming an ever more vocal proponent of independence of the Slavic peoples from Austria-Hungary. When the First World War broke out he had to flee the country to avoid arrest for treason, going to London, where he continued to agitate for Czech independence. In 1917 he went to Russia to help organize Slavic resistance to the Austrians. In 1918 he traveled to the United States, where he convinced President Woodrow Wilson of the rightness of his cause.
With the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, the Allies recognized Masaryk as head of the Provisional Czech government, and in 1920 he gained election as the first President of Czechoslovakia. He won re-election twice subsequently, and holding the office until 1935, when Edvard Benes succeeded him.
(6) Miroslav Tyrs (1832-1884) was a pioneer and organizer of modern Czech organized physical training. He was a co-founder of the Sokol (Falcon) Movement, famous for his ideals of Classical and Renaissance harmonic development of the individual.
Smetana (1824-1884) was a Czech composer, remembered especially for his set
of six symphonic poems My Country.
Smetana was a son of a brewer. He studied piano and violin from a young age. He studied music in Prague. In 1848 he received funds from F. Liszt to establish his own music school. In 1863, back in Prague, he opened another school of music, this one dedicated to promoting a specifically Czech music. In 1874, syphilis caused him to become deaf, but he continued to compose, with My Country being written largely after this event. In 1883 Smetana became insane, and was taken to a mental hospital in Prague, where he died the following year.
Smetana is noted as being the first composer to write music that was specifically Czech in character. Many of his operas are on Czech themes and he was a great influence on A. Dvorak, who similarly used Czech themes in his works.
Czechoslovak Legions were volunteer armed forces fighting together with the
Entente powers during World War I. Small armed units were organized from 1914
onwards by volunteer Czechs and Slovaks. Their purpose was to help the Entente
and thus to enable the creation of an independent country of Czechoslovakia,
then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Later, many Czech and Slovaks captured
during the war joined these units; with help of émigré intellectuals
and politicians (T. Masaryk, M. Stefanik and others) the Legions grew into a
force of tens of thousands.
Czechoslovak Legions in Russia were created in 1917, in France in December 1917 and in Italy in April 1918. Their membership consisted of Czech and Slovak war prisoners in Russia, Serbia and Italy, and Czech and Slovak emigrants. The Legions were actively involved in many battles of World War I. The term "Legions" was not widely used during the war but was adopted shortly afterwards.
Members of the Legions formed a significant part of the new Czechoslovak Army. Many of them fought in the 1919 war with Hungary over Slovakia.
L. Dvorak (1841–1904) was a Czech composer of classical music.
Dvorak was born near Prague where he spent most of his life. He studied music in Prague and at the end of the 1850s, and through the 1860s played viola in the Bohemian Provisional Theatre Orchestra which was from 1866 conducted by B. Smetana. From 1892 to 1895, Dvorak was director of the National Conservatory in New York City. It was during his visit to the United States that he wrote his most popular work, the Symphony No. 9 'From the New World' (Neil Armstrong took this symphony to the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission, the first Moon landing mission, in 1969). He eventually returned to Prague where he was director of the conservatoire from 1901 until his death in 1904.
(10) Kde domov muj? (Where is My Home?) is the national anthem of the Czech Republic. It has been used since independence in 1993. In the old Czechoslovakia, this song formed the first part of the national anthem, with the first stanza of Slovak anthem forming the second part. It was written by the composer F. Skroup and the dramatist J. K. Tyl as a part of the comedy. It was performed for the first time in Prague in 1834. The song originally had more stanzas, but only the first is officially the anthem.
main Allied offensive in 1917, planned by General Nivelle, the French commander-in-chief,
was to be launched on the Aisne on 16 April. A week earlier, the British army
launched a diversionary attack at Arras, with the aim of diverting large numbers
of German reserves to the north. The Germans now occupied a heavily fortified
defensive position to which they had withdrawn.
Following a massive five-day artillery bombardment, offensive began on 9 April on a 14-mile front. Six divisions of the German Sixth Army faced the 14 divisions of the British First Army and the Third Army. North of Arras, the Canadian Corps, part of the First Army, seized a section of Vimy Ridge after three hours' heavy fighting. In the center near Arras, the Third Army advanced 3½ miles into German held territory, the biggest gain since trench warfare had begun in 1914.
Allies' plans for an immediate further attack were put off with the arrival of German reserves. However, the British held their ground and maintained pressure on the Germans as the Nivelle offensive was launched. The second phase of the battle began on 23 April, when, during fierce fighting, a mile was added to the British gains all along the front and the action was renewed once more on 3 May. By the time it had finally died out, the British had lost 150,000 men and the Germans well over 100,000.
R. Stefanik was born in Slovakia, at that time part of Austria-Hungary in 1880.
As a strong Slovak patriot, he had troubles at Hungarian schools (Slovak ones
were prohibited). In 1898, he started to study in Prague. There he met T. Masaryk
(the future first president of Czechoslovakia), who inspired Stefanik with the
idea of cooperation of the Czechs and the Slovaks. In Prague, he wrote political
and artistic texts, in which he tried to inform the Czechs on the disastrous
situation of the Slovaks at that time. He graduated in 1904 with a doctor’s
degree in philosophy and with thorough knowledge of astronomy.
In 1904, he went to Paris to find a job in astronomy. Since 1908, he has been charged by French authorities with astronomic and meteorological observations and political tasks in various countries all over the world. In Tahiti, he also built an observatory and a meteorological stations network. When he was in South America, he got an opportunity to show his diplomatic skills for the first time. His studies and the results of his observations were published in reports to the Academie Francaise and he received several awards for them. In 1912, he received French citizenship.
When WW1 broke out Stefanik understood that a defeat of Austria-Hungary (and Germany) in this war meant a chance for the Slovaks and Czechs to gain independence from Austria-Hungary. Therefore, he insisted on participating in the war as an aviator (of the French army). After a short training, he was sent as a pilot to Serbia. He returned to Paris at the end of 1915.
Back in Paris, he met E. Benes and T. Masaryk again. In 1916, these three men founded the Czecho-Slovak National Council (the supreme body of Czecho-Slovak resistance abroad). Since 1917, he was the vice-president of the council. Thanks to his diplomatic skills, Stefanik helped Masaryk and Benes to meet and obtain the support of some of the most important personalities of the Entente. In 1916, Stefanik and the Czecho-Slovak resistance started to create Czechoslovak troops (legions) that would fight against Austria-Hungary and Germany. For this purpose, Stefanik (as the Czechoslovak Minister of War and as a French General) went to Russia and then to the USA. In January 1919, when the war ended, Stefanik went from Russia to France and Italy, where he organized the retreat of Czechoslovak troops from Siberia.
Finally, Stefanik wanted to return home. He decided to fly from Italy and to use an Italian military plane. On May 4, 1919, his plane tried to land in Bratislava (which was threatened by Hungarian troops at that time), but was shot down and Stefanik died. The official explanation at that time was that the plane was shot down „by mistake“, because its Italian tricolor was mistaken for the Hungarian tricolor.
(13) Karel Hynek Macha (1810-1836) was the greatest Czech Romantic poet, and arguably the most influential of any poet in the language. May, his epic masterpiece, was published in April 1836, just seven months before his death.
(14) On July 2nd, 1917, during the last Russian offensive in WW1, after a severe battle, the troops of the CzechoSlavic Brigade fighting alongside Russians, occupied the strongly fortified German and Austrian position on the heights to the west and southwest of the village of Zborov and the fortified village of Koroszylow. The Czecho-Slovakian Army captured 62 officers and 3,150 soldiers, 15 guns and many machine guns. Many of the captured guns were turned against the enemy. Finally, however, when the Russians refused to fight, the Czechs had to retire.
(15) Little Entente was the name of an alliance formed in 1920 and 1921 by Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia with the purpose of defending against the Hungarian revisionism and preventing the Habsburg restoration. France supported this alliance by signing treaties with each of the countries. It started to break apart in 1936, with the complete disband in 1938.
Purkinje was born in Bohemia in 1787. He graduated from the University of Prague
with a degree in medicine. After publishing his doctoral dissertation on vision,
he was appointed as Professor of Physiology at the University of Prague, where
he discovered the phenomenon known as the Pukinje effect (as light intensity
decreases, red objects are perceived to fade faster than blue objects of the
same brightness). Purkinje created the world’s first department of physiology
at the University of Breslau in 1839 and the first official physiological laboratory
Purkinje was a pioneer to experimental physiology whose investigations in the fields of histology, embryology and pharmacology helped to create a modern understanding of the eye and vision, brain and heart function, mammalian reproduction and the composition of cells. Purkinje died at the age of 82 in 1869.
(17) J. Fuegner (1822-1865) was a Czech banker, patriot and co-founder of Sokol-Movement. He was a wealthy businessman who provided the financial backing to start the Sokol organization.