Czech Republic - Sokol Rally in Prague 1920s
A rally to promoting public exercise as a way to stimulate national self importance (through organised gymnastic and athletic demonstrations - usually mass-participation). Sokol was founded on the philosophy that a physically fit, mentally alert and culturally developed people can make a nation strong. The word "sokol" translates to falcon and is symbolic of the Sokol ideals: Courage, Strength, Endurance, Fraternalism, Love of democratic principles, and Pride in country. Miroslav Tyrs (1832 -1884) (depicted in the centre) was a key exponent of this approach and is duly being honoured by the ranks of passing Sokol participants. Tyrs believed that a nation must be physically fit, morally on a high plane and intelligent in order to secure independence and retain it. Elevated to Doctor of Philosophy at Charles University and a member of the Education Staff of Rieger's Encyclopedia, Tyrs formulated his Sokol plan, creating an entirely new gymnastic terminology. The next twenty years of his life were devoted to Sokol. He was the first Physical Director, editor of the Sokol paper and creator of calisthenics and exercises, placing the whole system on a firm scientific basis. Between the First and Second World Wars the organisation grew to have a million members. The Sokol programmes were organised to have mass appeal across all strata of Czech society and across all age grous."
© Mary Evans / Grenville Collins Postcard Collection
Robert Maxwell, media mogul and publisher
Robert Maxwell (Ian Robert Maxwell, 1923-1991), Czechoslovakian-born British media mogul, publisher and former Labour politician. After his death by drowning (officially ruled to be accidental), irregularities were found in his business finances, including the Mirror Group pension fund, which Maxwell was thought to have misappropriated. Seen here walking along the street, smiling at the camera.
© Mary Evans / Marx Memorial Library