Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today: Hungary's Picnic That Brought Down The Wall

SOPRONPUSZTA, Hungary -- It was a picnic that changed the course of history.

Twenty years ago Wednesday, members of Hungary's budding opposition organized a picnic at the border with Austria to press for greater political freedom and promote friendship with their Western neighbors.

Some 600 East Germans got word of the event and turned up among the estimated 10,000 participants. They had a plan: to take advantage of an excursion across the border to escape to Austria.

Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom and German Chancellor Angela Merkel took part in festivities Wednesday marking the 20th anniversary of the "Pan-European Picnic," which helped precipitate the fall nearly three months later of the Berlin Wall.

Click on the title of this post to read the rest of the story.

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