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65 Years Reporting Freedom

RFE/RL Marks Two Milestones

RFE/RL is marking two seminal anniversaries in 2015: 65 years on air, on screen, and online, and 20 years at the Prague headquarters.

Established at the beginning of the Cold War to transmit uncensored news and information to audiences behind the Iron Curtain, the then separate entities of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty merged into RFE/RL in 1976. Radio Free Europe began broadcasting in 1950 to Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Three years later, Radio Liberty launched broadcasting to the Soviet Union in Russian and 15 other languages.

Despite the best efforts of the authorities to jam the signal, millions of people found ways to listen to RFE/RL, the stations they relied on for independent reporting on international affairs and the forbidden samizdat literature suppressed in their countries.

Invited to relocate its headquarters to Prague by former Czech President Vaclav Havel, RFE/RL’s mission continues today in 21 countries and 26 languages.

For more on the history of RFE/RL visit RFE/RL History and Historical Archives.

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