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Commemoration of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution and War of Liberation
March 15 is Hungarian National Day commemorating the 1848 War of Independence and fight for Liberation and Democracy. The 1848-1849 flag is shown here.March 15 is Hungarian National Day commemorating the 1848 War of Independence and fight for Liberation and Democracy. Kossuth Lajos (Louis) (b. 1802, d. 1894, pronounced co-shoot luh-yôsh) was Governor of Hungary and leader during fight for independence which was eventually defeated by the union of the royalist Austrian Habsburg and Russian Czarist Armies (1848 - 1849). Kossuth envisioned a federation in the Kingdom of Hungary in which all nationalties participated in a vibrant democratic system based on fundamental democratic principles such as equality and parliamentary representation. The bloody conflict eventually led to a great compromise known as the "Austro-Hungarian Empire," in which Hungary gained some autonomy, although Kossuth would have no part in it and demanded full indepependence until his death. It also inadvertantly set the seeds for Hungary's dismemberment after WWI.

AHF President Frank Koszorus, Jr., delivered his annual "Reflections" address entitled, "Is Kossuth Relevant Today?"3/09/2013 - AHF commemorates Hungarian National Day and the 1848 War of Independence. The annual commemoration emphasized the relevance of Kossuth and the historic fight for democracy to today, Hungary's revered history of standing up for freedom and liberty against great odds, and the serious human and minority rights challenges facing ethnic-Hungarian communities throughout the Carpathian basin.


Members of the the The 4th Bátori József Hungarian Scouts Troop of Washington, DC, provided a major part of the program3/11/2012 - AHF commemorates Hungarian National Day and the 1848 War of Independence. The commemoration emphasized Hungary's revered history of standing up for freedom and liberty against great odds, including in 1848 – 1849, and urged that this history not defamed through political expediency. [read more]


This year's commemoration of 1848 was organized by the American Hungarian Federation of Metropolitan Washington, DC, and held on March 13, at 2:30 p.m., at the Wesley Theological Seminary Chapel in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Szapary and Rev. Judit Mayer seen here.3/15/2011 - The American Hungarian Federation of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., holds annual commemoration of the 1848 War of Liberation. Hungarian Ambassador George Szapary's Keynote Address was a welcome paradigm shift in Hungarian official policy toward Hungarians in the diaspora. AHF President Frank Koszorus reflected on what Kossuth's legacy means to us today: "Let us reach out and find all who want to participate [to] ensure democracy for all Hungarians and advance the foreign policy interests of our great American homeland. [read more]


Hungarian Americans commemorate Hungarian National Day. President Obama sends congratulations.3/15/2010 - Hungarian Americans commemorate Hungarian National Day. President Obama sends congratulations. The 1848 Hungarian Revolution, under its leader Louis Kossuth, sought to throw off the Austrian Yoke. It failed after Russian intervention, but its impact on the United States is felt even today. This year's commemoration was organized by the American Hungarian Federation of Metropolitan Washington, DC, and held on March 14, 2:30 p.m., at the Kay Spiritual Center of the American University. [read more]


This year's keynote address entitled, “Erők a Háttérben,” (the powers in the background) was given by the Rev. Judit Mayer who commented that today's politicians could learn from the heroes of 1848 who put the nation ahead of their own personal political agenda3/15/2009 - AHF of Washington, DC's Commemorates the 1848 Hungarian Revolution and War of Liberation. The Chapel at Wesley Theological Seminary at American University in Washington, D.C., was once again the setting for AHFDC's annual commemoration of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution and War of Liberation in which Hungary sought to establish a democratic republic and split with Austria under its leader Louis Kossuth. This year, speakers focused on the significance of the 1848 revolution and how its ideals and goals relate to the political climate in today's Hungary.

This years keynote speaker, the Rev. Judit Mayer, commented that today's politicians could learn from the heroes of 1848 who put the nation ahead of their own personal political agenda: "A politikai önzetlenség  példáját jellemzi, hogy március 15-én a később "márciusi ifjaknak" nevezett fiatalok átengedték a vezetést a mérsékelt liberálisok vezéregyéniségeinek, akik ismertebbek és elfogadhatóbbak voltak a polgárok számára. Nem a saját politikai vágyaik kielégitése volt a mérvadó, hanem az, hogy mi jó a nemzetnek. A mai politikusok közül sokaknak talán róluk kellene példát venni." [read more]


members of the Bathori Jozsef Hungarian Scout Troup of Washington3/18/2007 - Washington-area Hungarians commemorate the 1848 Revolution... Hungarians in the Washington Metropolitan area gathered Sunday, March 18, 2007 at the Wesley Theological Seminary, to commemorate March 15 and the 1848 Hungarian Revolution. The American Hungarian Federation of Metropolitan Frank Koszorus, Jr., President of AHFDC (and Co-President of AHF National) also spoke; the title of his address was “Kossuth and the Meaning of Democracy.”Washington, D.C., organized the event, andmembers of the Bathori Jozsef Hungarian Scout Troup of Washington provided a good part of the program.

AHF Co-President (and President of AHFDC) Frank Koszorus, Jr.'s address, "Kossuth and the Meaning of Democracy," focused attention on the dangers of "illberal democracy" and the "tyranny of the majority" in Central and Eastern Europe. [read more]


Zoltan Bagdy opens the commemoration of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution led by Louis Kossuth3/26/2006 - AHF of Washington, DC's annual 1848 commemoration. The Chapel at Wesley Theological Seminary at American University in Washington, D.C., was the setting for this year's commemoration which featured speeches on Louis Kossuth and the implications of 1848 on recent Hungarian politics and ethnic relations in the Carpathian Basin.

Andras Ferenc Bodor, the keynote speakerThe keynote speaker was Andras Ferenc Bodor who remarked, "Én ahhoz a generációhoz tartozom, amelyik a márciusi ifjak forradalmi attitudjét 1988-89-ben vitték a budapesti utcákra a kommunista diktatúra hatalmi gépezetével szemben. Ezzel a generációval szebben bánt a sors, nekünk nem kellett az életünket áldoznunk a harcunk sikeréért, és nem kellett a hazánkat elhagynunk egy elbukott - mondhatnánk, hogy csak a hosszútávú hatásában gyoztes - harc után." [download his speech here]. The event was closed by a stirring speech Rev. Gábor Nagy. [read more]


President Bush Honors Hungary's Contributions to Democracy during commemoration of Hungarian National Day and Anniversary of its 1848 revolution led by Louis KossuthMarch 15th marks Hungary's National Day and the anniversary of its historic 1848 democratic revolution led by Louis Kossuth against Hapsburg domination. “I believe the example of Hungary proves that freedom is universal. I believe everybody desires to live in freedom,” President Bush said. US Marine Quarter perform at the US Capitol in honor of Hungary's 1848 democratic revolution led by Louis Kossuth.“It's an example that tyranny can never stamp out the desire to be free.” Numerous AHF members joined the event chair, Congressman Tom Lantos and distiguished speakers and guests that included Congressmen Pelosi, Hastert, Reid, Frist, and Hyde, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Hungarian Ambassador Simonyi, Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, and US Ambassador to Hungary Walker in the US Capitol.


The American Hungarian Federation of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., joined Hungarian American communities worldwide andpresented a program commemorating the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. The 1848-1849 flag is shown here.3/14/2004 - AHF Celebrating Hungary's National Day in Washington, D.C...The American Hungarian Federation celebrated March 15th, Hungary's National Day commemorating the 1848 democratic revolution headed by Louis Kossuth. AHF's 1st Vice President Frank Koszorus and Louis Segesvary delivered poignant speeches on the life and impact of Kossuth, only the second foreign leader to address a joint session of Congress. Click to [download the full article] by AHF's Dr. Louis Segesvary.


Gergatz_Bika_Jeszenszky_Kossuth4/6/2002 - Louisiana Hungarians unveil Kossuth Plaque in New Orleans. The plaque was placed in Lafayette Park in front of Gallier Hall in the old New Orleans city center, near to where Kossuth addressed a large audience in 1852. While thousands came to greet him, the welcome was not unanimous due to Kossuth's democratic and anti-slavery viewpoints. The bronze relief casting was done by AHF's NewOrleans_KossuthGyuri Hollósy.

The inscription reads, "Kossuth 1802-1894. Here on March 30, 1852 Louis Kossuth Governor of Hungary Leader of the 1848 revolution addressed the Citizens of New Orleans. Hungarians of Louisiana, Árpádhon And Hungarians Worldwide" The project initiators were Dr. Istvan Gergátz and wife Julianna Bika. [read more]


Minnesota Hungarians Kossuth County7/13//2001 - Laszlo and Agnes Fulop and the Minnesota Hungarians participate in unveiling of Kossuth Statue in Kossuth County, Iowa. The County was founded on January 15, 1851, honoring Hungary's increaAlgona Kossuth Statuesingly popular hero, Kossuth. Iowa governor Hampstead had invited Kossuth to visit the State in early 1852.

Conveying his regrets, Kossuth instead suggested that associations be formed to provide Hungary with "material aid" Several communities within the County have named streets after Kossuth as well. The County's population and leadership had not lost track of its history. Culmination was the 150th anniversary of its founding in 2001 with its observances. [read more]


Iowa Kossuth County5/2/1961 - Mrs. Bela Bachkai of the American Hungarian Federation of Washington DC presented the County with a stylized Hungarian coat of arms,since displayed in the third floor hallway of the County Courthouse in Algona.

 

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AHF 100 YEARS DISPLAY: AHF and the Kossuth Bust in the US CapitolAHF and Kossuth in the US Capitol [read more]

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Famous Quotes

The American Hungarian Federation of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., joined Hungarian American communities worldwide andpresented a program commemorating the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. The 1848-1849 flag is shown here."the house of Habsburg-Lorraine, perjured in the sight of God and man, had forfeited the Hungarian throne."
Hungary, April 1849

"All for the people and all by the people. Nothing about the people without the people. That is Democracy, and that is the ruling tendency of the spirit of our age."
Spoken before the Ohio State Legislature,
February 16, 1852


About Louis Kossuth

KossuthKossuth Lajos (b. 1802, d. 1894, pronounced co-shoot luh-yôsh) was Governor of Hungary during fight for independence and democracy which was eventually defeated by the union of the royalist Austrian Habsburg and Russian Czarist Armies (1848 - 1849). Kossuth envisioned a federation in the Kingdom of Hungary in which all nationalties participated in a vibrant democratic system based on fundamental democratic principles such as equality and parliamentary representation. The bloody conflict eventually led to a great compromise known as the "Austro-Hungarian Empire," in which Hungary gained some autonomy. although Kossuth would have no part in it and demanded full indepependence until his death.

Hungary's demands in the 1848-1849 War of Liberation against AustriaThe speech from which the above excerpt is taken was given over a decade before Lincoln's famed "for the people, by the people" speech given at Gettysburg in 1863. Kossuth was the first foreign Statesman officially invited to the US since the Marquis de Lafayette. His upcoming speech in the Congress of the United States made the pre-civil war joint house nervous due to his democratic views on equality of all men. Kossuth learned English while in prison and exile and spoke to half the population of the US who enthusiastically greeted and flocked to hear him. Despite Hungary's epic struggle and Kossuth's brave and noble efforts, the US, the "Bastion of Democracy" turned him away, empty handed. Hungary was alone again in its fight for democracy in 1956, and didn't gain freedom until 1989 and would soon join NATO.

Today, there are many reminders of Kossuth's impact on America and the world. In North America, there is a Kossuth County in the state of Iowa, a town with his name in Indiana, Ohio and Mississippi, a settlement with a Kossuth Post Office is in Pennsylvania. In addition, there are Kossuth statues and plaques in New York, Cleveland, Akron, New Orleans, Washington, and Ontario, Canada. The Hungarian Reformed Federation's building on Dupont Circle, in Washington, DC is called Kossuth House with a memorial plaque commemorating his speech on democracy. See the picture gallery and memorials on Louis Kossuth in North America.

The renowned Ralph Waldo Emerson said in greeting Kossuth on his arrival at Concord, MA, May 11, 1852:

"[we] have been hungry to see the man whose extraordinary eloquence is seconded by the splendor and the solidity of his actions."

Kossuth was greeted with wild enthusiasm across the country. He was only the second foreign leader (second to Lafayette) to address a joint session of Congress. The American Hungarian Federation dedicated a bust that now sits proudly in the US Capitol - it reads, "Louis Kossuth, Father of Hungarian Democracy" [read more]


Audio Resources

Hear Louis Kossuth Speak!Hear Louis Kossuth Speak! [Click Here] - This is the speech of Louis Kossuth which he gave for the dedication of the statue for the 13 Hungarian generals, who were executed at Arad, Hungary, on October 6, 1849 (Arad is in Rumania today after annexation due to the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 ). Louis Kossuth was exiled after the fall of the Hungarian Liberation Fight of 1848 and made his permanent home in Torino (Turin), Italy. He could not attend the dedication of the monument at Arad, without risking arrest, so he recorded his speech inTurin, and sent it to Arad using the new technology of sound recording, called the phonograph.
This is the speech of Louis Kossuth which he gave for the dedication of the statue for the 13 Hungarian generals, who were executed at Arad, Hungary, on October 6, 1849 (Arad is in Rumania today after annexation due to the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 ).The recording was made on September 20, 1890, when Kossuth was 88 years old. It is a sad fact that the monument Kossuth sent his speech for was torn down by the Rumanian government when they annexed Transylvania, along with Arad, in 1920, after World War I.

The original recording on two wax cylinders for the Edison phonograph survives to this day, although barely audible due to excess playback and unsuccessful early restoration attempts. Lajos Kossuth is the earliest born person in the world who has his voice preserved. Since the audio is of such poor quality, here is it is transcribed in Hungarian and translated to English (special thanks to Louis Kossuth in North America)

Hungarian
English

"A világ bírája a történelem fog e kérdésre felelni. Legyenek a szentemlékû vértanúk megáldottak poraikban, szellemeikben a hon szabadság Istenének legjobb áldásaival az örökkévalóságon keresztül; engem ki nem borulhatok le a Magyar Golgota porába, engem október 6-a térdeimre borulva fog hontalanságom remete lakában látni a mint az engem kitagadott Haza felé nyújtva agg karjaimat a hála hû érzelmeivel áldom a vértanúk szent emlékét hûségükért a Haza iránt, 's a magasztos példáért, melyet az utódoknak adtanak; 's buzgó imával kérem a magyarok Istenét, hogy tegye diadalmassá a velõkig ható szózatot, mely Hungária ajkairól a Magyar Nemzethez zeng. Úgy legyen Ámen!

Turin
September 20 1890
Kossuth Lajos

"The judge of the universe, history, will decide over this question. Should the saintly remembered martyrs be hallowed in their ashes, in their spirit with the highest blessings of the Lord of Liberty and through eternity; I can not pay my sympathies to the ashes of the Hungarian Golgotha, but October 6 will find me on my knees in this reclusive home of exile, as I open my arms to my disowning homeland. With gratitude's faithful sentiments, I bless the martyrs' sacred memory for their faith in their homeland and for the sublime example they left to their heirs: with ardent prayer I beg the God of Hungarians to make their appeal which echoes from the lips of Hungaria to the Hungarian Nation. So be it, Amen!

Turin
September 20 1890
Lajos Kossuth


The Kossuth Anthem:
Hear Louis Kossuth Speak!
Click to hear the recording:
"Kossuth Lajos azt üzente,
elfogyott a regimentje.
Ha még egyszer azt üzeni,
mindnyájunknak el kell menni,
Éljen a magyar szabadság,
Éljen a haza !
Esik esõ karikára,
Kossuth Lajos kalapjára.
Valahány csepp esik rája,
Annyi áldás szálljon rája,
Éljen a magyar szabadság,
Éljen a haza!"

Links

  • AHF and the Kossuth Bust in the US Capitol
  • AHF commemorating 1848
  • President Bush Honors 1848 and Hungary's Contributions to Democracy
  • HRFA's excellent Kossuth in America [visit]
  • Select Speeches of Kossuth, Condensed and Abridged, with Kossuth's Express Sanction [visit]
  • Louis Kossuth, Mason And Apostle Of World Democracy [visit]
  • Count Apponyi's Oration on the Death of Louis Kossuth [visit]
  • Wikipedia - [visit] and add your thoughts!
  • Louis Kossuth in North America [visit]
  • Kossuth County, Iowa [visit]
  • Kossuth County, Iowa statue dedication
    [visit]
  • Dedication of statue to replace one destroyed by
    Rumanian occupation forces in 1921:
    Gyergyócsomafalva, Transylvania [visit]
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