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Havel, Vaclav

Born: 1936 AD
Currently alive, at 79 years of age.
Nationality: Czech
Categories: Presidents

1936 – He was born on the 5th day of October this year in Prague, Chezchoslovakia.


1951 – Czech communist government did not allow Havel to study formally after he had completed his required schooling in this year.


1954 – In the first part of the 1950s, the young Havel entered into a four-year apprenticeship as a chemical laboratory assistant and simultaneously took evening classes to complete his secondary education which he did in this year.


1957 – He entered the military and after military service in 1959, he worked as a stagehand in Prague (at the Theatre On the Balustrade – Divadlo Na zábradlí) and studied drama by correspondence at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU).


1968 – Following the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968 he was banned from the theatre and became more politically active.


1989 – On the 29th day of December this year, as leader of the Civic Forum, he became President by a unanimous vote of the Federal Assembly. An ironic turn of fate for a man who had long insisted, that he was uninterested in politics. He became a leading figure in the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the bloodless end to communism in Czechoslovakia.


1992 – On the 3rd of July this year, the federal parliament did not elect Havel the only candidate for presidency, due to a lack of support from Slovak MPs. After the Slovaks issued their Declaration of Independence, he resigned as president on the 20th of July.


1993 – When the Czech Republic was created, he stood for election as president there on the 26th of January, of this year, and won


1996 – In December this yar the chain-smoking Havel was diagnosed as having lung cancer. The disease reappeared two years later.


1997 – In this year, less than a year after the death of his wife Olga, who was beloved almost as a saint by the Czech people, Havel remarried to actress Dagmar Veškrnová. That year he was the recipient of the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca.


1998 – He was re-elected president in this year and underwent a colostomy when on holiday in Innsbruck. Havel left office after his second term as Czech president ended on February 2, 2003; Václav Klaus, one of his greatest political opponents, was elected his successor on February 28, 2003.


2002 – He was the third recipient of the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award presented by the Prague Society for International Cooperation.


2003 – He was the inaugural recipient of Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for his work in promoting human rights.


2006 – In November and December of this year, Havel spent eight weeks as an artist-in-residence at Columbia University. At the same time, Untitled Theater Company #61 hosted a Havel Festival, the first ever complete festival of his plays. The events came in conjunction with his 70th birthday.