Soviet Communist Party Leader Mr. Leonid Brezhnev attended a mass worker's rally in Prague's Old?
GV PAN EXT Old Town Square, Prague, workers assembled
LV PAN DOWN FROM Pictures of Communist leaders to Brezhnev, Husak and Svoboda on dais
CU Banner, hammer & sickle inscribed 1948- 1973
CU PAN FROM Svoboda, across Husak speaking to Brezhnev
SV Soldiers standing at attention in square
SV Husak speaking PAN TO Brezhnev laughing at remarks of companion
SV PAN National militia, national police and Czech army members lined up in front of dais (2 shots)
Initials BB/1537 GR/MR/BB/1559
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Background: Soviet Communist Party Leader Mr. Leonid Brezhnev attended a mass worker's rally in Prague's Old Town Square on Friday (23rd February) marking the 25th Anniversary of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia.
The rally, which was also attended by Czechoslovak Communist Party Chief Gustav Husak, and President Ludvik Svoboda, climaxed a week of festivities celebrating the coming to power of the first Communist cabinet in 1948 under the late Czech communist party Leader Klement Gottwarld.
Mr. Brezhnev arrived in Prague on Thursday (22 February) after a two-day train journey from Moscow. Soon after his arrival he presented Mr. Husak with the Soviet Union's highest decoration, the Order of Lenin, to mark the Czech Party Leader's 60 birthday. In turn, President Svoboda awarded Mr. Brezhnev Czechoslovakia's highest decoration, the Order of the White Lion, shortly before the rally began on Thursday.
SYNOPSIS: In Prague on Friday, a mass workers' rally climaxed a week of celebrations marking twenty-five years of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. Soviet Party Leader Leonid Brezhnev travelled from Moscow for the rally. With him were Czech Party Leader Gustav Husak, and President Ludvik Svoboda.
Nineteen forty-eight was the turning-point for the Czech communist Party, when its first cabinet was formed under the leadership of the late Klement Gottwald. In the week preceding Friday's rally, Party veterans reminisced in television and radio broadcasts about Gottwald and the Party climb to power. The rally was a highlight of these and other celebrations.
Shortly before the rally began, Mr. Brezhnev had been awarded Czechoslovakia's highest decoration -- the Order of the White Lion -- for 'exceptional contributions to the development of Czechoslovak-Soviet friendship'. On thursday, Mr. Husak was presented by the Soviet Party leader with the Soviet Union's highest honour -- the Order of Lenin.
The rally ended with a brief ceremony to honour the Czechoslovak National Militia, Police, and Army. Communist partisans drawn from the armed forces had played a major role in the Party's accession to power twenty-five years ago, when they gained much support for the Party by leading the struggle against Nazi Germany.