The year 1986 was a time of revival for Czechoslovak society. A relatively warm wind from the East slowly reached Prague in the form of surprising speeches from the new Soviet Union leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. The Czechoslovak political elite were disquieted by this new thinking, but their only option was to carefully begin to ease controls on society somewhat.
On May 17th, the extensive multifunctional building of the Palace of
Culture and Sports was completed in Ostrava’s Vítkovice. At the time of
opening it was the largest multifunctional arena in Europe.
On May 23rd and 24th, the last undemocratic elections for all the representative government bodies throughout the country were held.
On September 3rd, a manipulated report was broadcast on TV concerning the emigration of the singer Waldemar Matuška, who had decided to apply for political asylum in the United States.
Songs with modern qualities became hits alongside the more traditional types. Michael Kocáb’s song, “Karel is Probably Bringing Tea,” (“Karel nese asi čaj”) helped Jiří Korn return to the center of attention and introduced Vilém Čok, a member of Kocáb’s band Pražský výběr, to wider audiences. The song’s lyrics were written by Michal Bukovič.
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