November 17, 1989: The Velvet Revolution begins.

In reaction to the stagnant political and social landscape of the country, discontent simmered in Czechoslovakia and finally erupted on November 17, 1989, when riot police put down an anti-Communist student rebellion in Prague. What resulted over the next few days was an outbreak of strikes, demonstrations, and public discussions across the country. This kind of civil resistance was common to the upheaval that occurred in various other Eastern Bloc states during 1989 (first Poland, then Hungary and East Germany, and then Czechoslovakia). 

In late November, some 750,000 people gathered for protest in Prague. On November 27, a general strike supported by an estimated three-quarters of the population was successfully carried out; on the same day, the censorship of anti-Communist material ended. The Civic Forum, led by Václav Havel, met with Czechoslovakian Prime Minister Adamec, and it was decided that three articles from the country’s constitution would be removed entirely. 

By December of 1989, Alexander Dubček, who had been ousted during the 1968 Prague Spring after attempting to implement reforms, was elected Chairman of the Federal Assembly/Parliament. Havel was also elected to office - he became President of Czechoslovakia by the Federal Assembly’s vote. On December 31, 1992, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia was officially dissolved. 

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