“Louis Kossuth’s Life Story and 1100 years of Hungarian History in 20 minutes”
In 1848, the remarkable Louis Kossuth led the fight for Hungarian independence. His vision was to create a democracy in Hungary modeled after the US. Kossuth was the first foreign statesman officially invited to the US since Lafayette. In 1851, an American ship brought him to the US as “the nation’s guest.” Kossuth had dinner with the President & addressed Congress in English
Louis Kossuth (1802 – 1894)
In a speech to the Ohio legislature, February 6, 1852, Kossuth said: “The Spirit of our age is democracy. All for the people, all by the people, nothing about the people without the people.” That was 11 years before Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Could Lincoln have borrowed some words or ideas from Louis Kossuth?
Memorials to Kossuth include a bronze plaque with those words and his image on the first floor of the City Hall of Columbus, the capital of Ohio. A bust of Kossuth is in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington D.C. There are three full statues in the US: in New York City; and since 2001, in front of the Kossuth County Courthouse in Algona, Iowa; the Cleveland statue is in a park on Euclid Avenue between Chester and MLK Blvd. (See above photo of the Kossuth statue in Cleveland.)
The 1848 Magyar revolt led by Kossuth was crushed when the Russian czar came to the aid of the Austrian Hapsburg emperor. The bloody conflict led to “The Great Compromise” — the creation of Austria-Hungary.
About the presenter
Mr. Arthur Allan Bártfay was born near Flint, Michigan to Hungarian parents who, in 1912, came from small villages in Borsod County near the Tisza & Sajó Rivers. He received his BA & MA from Michigan State University in E. Lansing and worked in administrative capacities at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, and Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant. Arthur was the coordinator of the summer Hungarian Research Workshop Week at the University of Illinois for several years and has given presentations at conferences of the American Hungarian Educators as well as the Midwest Slavic Association. In 2005, he taught conversational English to teens in Temesvár, Transylvania, and visited cousins in seven Hungarian villages & cities. Recently, he visited the five US Kossuth villages in NY, PA., OH, IN, & MS, plus Kossuth County, Iowa.