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Dates That Matter

August 20, 1968

The Soviet Union invades Czechoslovakia.

 Why does it matter?

The Cold War was a time when much of the Western world watched warily to see what actions the growing Soviet Union would take to solidify its power. The Soviets had agreements with other nearby countries (including Czechoslovakia, a sovereign nation bordering Russia) under the Warsaw Pact. However, in early 1968, after a change in government in Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union was concerned that new President would enact reforms counter to the USSR's wishes. On this date, the Soviet and other Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia and occupied the country. In 1990, with the fall of the Soviet Union, the country split into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Today, the two countries are known as the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

For more information...

The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia
From Radio Prague, an overview of the Soviet invasion. There are also links to other information about Prague and about the current Czech Republic.

The Prague Spring 1968
A great site detailing the events leading up to the Soviet invasion.

Cold War International History Project
Comprehensive Cold War site, notable because it focuses on international politics and not on 1950s US culture.