The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt
against the authoritarian communist government of Hungary and its
Soviet imposed policies, lasting from October 23 until November 10 of
1956. It began as a student demonstration which attracted thousands as
it marched through central Budapest to the Parliament building. The
revolt spread quickly across Hungary, and the government fell.
Thousands organized into militias, battling the State Security Police
and Soviet troops. The new government formally disbanded the ÁVH,
declared its intention to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact and pledged to
re-establish free elections. On November 4, a large Soviet force
invaded Budapest using artillery and air strikes, killing thousands of
civilians. Organized resistance ceased by 10 November 1956, and mass
arrests began. An estimated 200,000 Hungarians fled as refugees. By
January 1957 the new Soviet-installed government had suppressed all
public opposition. Soviet actions alienated many Western Marxists, yet
strengthened Soviet control over Eastern Europe, cultivating the
perception that communism was both irreversible and monolithic. Public
discussion about this revolution was suppressed in Hungary for over 30
years, but since the thaw of the 1980s it has been a subject of
intense study and debate.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
The universe was created, according to the Ussher-Lightfoot Calendar.
First use of heavier-than-air aircraft in war: an Italian pilot flew
from Libya to survey Turkish lines during the Italo-Turkish War.
Belgian cartoonist Peyo introduced a new set of comic strip
characters, The Smurfs.
Lebanese Civil War: Suicide bombers destroyed two barracks in Beirut,
Lebanon, killing 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers of the
international peacekeeping force.
Chechen rebels seized a crowded theater in Moscow, taking
approximately 700 theatergoers and performers hostage in the Moscow
theater hostage crisis.
Wikiquote of the day:
I am certain there is too much certainty in the world. -- Michael