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Havel Gets Historic Czech Document

October 24, 1991|MARTIN BERNHEIMER | Associated Press and TIMES MUSIC CRITIC

WASHINGTON — Visiting Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel on Wednesday accepted from Congress the 1918 first draft of his country's declaration of independence, calling it "the birth certificate" of his fledgling government.

Standing before a portrait of George Washington at the Capitol, Havel received the document from House and Senate leaders.

The document had been safeguarded for four decades by the Library of Congress while Czechoslovakia was under Communist rule.

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