Former U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia and Friends of Slovakia Board of Advisors member Tod Sedgwick gave a fascinating luncheon presentation on “How Cleveland Played a Crucial Role in U.S. Diplomacy in Central Europe” on September 26, 2017. Ambassador Sedgwick gave a brief overview of the history of Slovak emigration to the U.S. He described why and how Slovaks emigrated in such large numbers to the U.S. in the late 1800s and early 1900s, particularly to the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas. He explained how they eventually came together with Czechs to push for a new, independent nation of Czechs and Slovaks by signing the October 1915 Cleveland Agreement and later the Pittsburgh Agreement in May 1918 which led to the formation of independent Czechoslovakia under President T.G. Masaryk.
Attendees included members of the Cleveland Club of Washington, D.C., and Slovak Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Jozef Polakovic. FOS members Richard Marko, Helen Fedor, and FOS Founding Chairman Ted Russell also attended. The luncheon lecture was organized by Cleveland Club President Brooke Stoddard.