Saturday, August 19, 2023

August 1968: Tanks head to Prague

Prague Spring | Czechoslovak history | Britannica

(My new American Thinker post)

The USSR and the Warsaw Pact are now history.  It all collapsed at the end of 1991. In other words, most people younger than 35 have no emotional involvement with what we grew up with.  They’ve probably never heard of the Berlin Wall or the 1956 Hungarian revolution or the atrocities of communism. Prague is now the capital of the Czech Republic and Slovakia is another country.  It all seems like a past so long ago.

Some of us are old enough to remember this week when 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops and 5,000 tanks invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring.”  

My father had a friend from Prague who escaped a few months later. He was often at our home listening to news reports on my dad's Telefunken short-wave radio.  That's what we used to do before the internet and cable news.

The invasion was a dark day for freedom.  Like the Hungarians in 1956, the people of Czechoslovakia were given a taste of Soviet “tolerance.”  The “Prague Spring” was all about freedom and reforms, but the Kremlin did not accept it and sent the tanks in.

A sad day for those of us who were watching from the West, especially when Fidel Castro defended the USSR by saying among many things that the country was “….heading toward a counter-revolutionary situation, toward capitalism and into the arms of imperialism.

We remember today all the people who stood up to Soviet tanks in Prague. And all the other victims of communism.

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Happy # 88 Bobby Richardson

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We remember Bobby Richardson who was born in South Carolina on this day in 1935.

Bobby was 19 when broke with the Yankees in 1955.  Richardson became the starting second baseman in 1959 when he hit .301 in 134 games.  

His best season was 1962 when he hit .302 with 209 hits.  Bobby caught the last out of the World Series that year, a line drive by Willie McCovey.

Richardson retired after the 1966 season:  .266 with 1,432 hits in 1,412 games.  

He played on great Yankee teams and remains a very underrated Yankee.  He was the 1960 World Series MVP.

We also remember Richardson for that great eulogy at Mickey Mantle's funeral in 1995.  

P.S.  You can listen to my show.  If you like our posts, please look for ”Donate” on the right column of the blog page.

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