Click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS News Netalert bulletin – Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia – August 20, 1968 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Further evidence that August is a month for upheavals. On the 20th of August in 1968, during the early morning hours, residents in Prague and outlying areas were awakened to the sound of rumbling tanks and squadrons of MIGs. In one swift move, Moscow decided Prague Spring and Socialism With A Human Face had done enough and it was time to restore hard-line Soviet influence in Czechoslovakia.
So, in addition to Moscow, troops from other Soviet Bloc countries joined in and the country was quickly overrun and the shockwaves reverberated throughout the world within hours.
With 1968 already a year bathed in violence and protest, this new episode just added to the jitters the world was undergoing. How the year was going to end up was anybody’s guess. And the guesses weren’t optimistic.
Here is the first hour of bulletins as they were broadcast from around 10:00pm (PDT) on August 20th via CBS Radio and their (relatively) new Netalert service.
Scary times – and no wonder people were tuning out at an increasing rate. Reality was becoming to hard to handle.
- Day 43 Marta Kubišová – Modlitba pro Martu, the Prague Spring (1968) and the Velvet Revolution (1989) (civildisobedience100.wordpress.com)
- Prague’s Savage Spring (nybooks.com)
- August 20, 1968: The End of “Socialism with a Human Face” in Prague and Bratislava (milankalis.wordpress.com)