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LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

Thirty-year-old astronaut Vladimír Remek orbits the Earth, and passengers on the new Prague metro are fascinated by the op-art tiles on its walls. Meanwhile, thousands of Czechs and Slovaks train for the Spartakiada mass synchronised gynnastics display. Unable to travel, people become DIY enthusiasts at their country cottages, where some furtively tune in to the Voice of America. Martina Navrátilová emigrates and becomes the first Czech to win Wimbledon, and another émigré, the designer Bořek Šípek, creates his first glass collection for the company Driade.

1970 Jaromil Jireš films Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, and Petr Weigl makes Radúz and Mahulena, with Magda Vašáryová as Mahulena.

1971 František Venclovský is the first Czech to swim the English Channel. The first part of the television serial Mr Tau is broadcast.

1972 Singer Vladimír Mišík releases his album Chicken in a Watch.

1974 The first section of the Prague metro is opened..

1976 Miloš Forman wins five Oscars for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Musicians from the legendary underground rock band The Plastic People Of The Universe are jailed.

1977 On January 6, Charter 77 is published, protesting against political oppression. The Igra company launches its toy plastic figures. The reconstruction of the church at the Emmaus Monastery is completed.

1978 The young astronaut Vladimír Remek orbits the Earth. Oto Janeček’s New Primer is judged the world’s most beautiful textbook in Nice. Martina Navrátilová wins Wimbledon. The first part of the television serial The Hospital on the Edge of Town is broadcast. Czech glass is a hit at an exhibition at the Corning Museum of Glass in America.

1982 The first Czech test-tube baby is born.

1984 The poet Jaroslav Seifert wins the Nobel Prize.

1985 Michal David sings his song Buds as teenage girls exercise at the Spartakiada.

1987 The design group Atika and the art group Tvrdohlaví (The Hard-Headed) are founded. Jan Švankmajer releases his film Alice.

1988 President Francois Mitterand invites dissidents to breakfast at the French Embassy. Cinemas screen the film The Prague Five.

1989 November 17 marks the start of the Velvet Revolution in Prague. Václav Havel is elected president.