|President George Bush’s State of the Union Address, January 31, 1990, selected pages|
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In 1989, a series of revolutions swept through central Eastern Europe, as the peoples of Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Romania threw off the communist regimes that had held their countries in an oppressive iron grip for more than forty years.
Delivering his State of the Union Address in 1990, President Bush remarked on the stunning advances in freedom that had captured the world’s attention over the previous year. Here, he recalled an incident that took place in the midst of the revolution in Czechoslovakia. At a workers’ rally outside Prague, a brewery worker took to the platform and began to recite the words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .” Speaking to a crowd of more than one thousand workers he said, “Americans understood these rights more than 200 years ago. We are only now learning to believe that we are entitled to the same rights.”
National Archives, George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, College Station, Texas