Lech Walesa Comes to Hawaii
On October 2, 1999, former Polish President Lech Walesa spoke at a function for the Center of Labor Education and Research at the University of Hawaii, West Oahu.
Walesa was one of the leaders in the famous opposition strike at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland in 1980. Walesa's words inspired his countrymen's desire for freedom and self determination. The labor union was named "Solidarnosc" and Walesa was jailed for eleven months by the Communist ruling party of Poland for his involvement. For his courage, Lech Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983. In 1988, to settle worker demands, the communist party of Poland agreed to elections. Solidarity won the election handily. In 1990, Lech Walesa served as his country's first elected non-Communist President till 1995.
After his speech, Mr. Walesa was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Hawaii. Mr Walesa stated that it was a dream come true to visit Hawaii. It was an extremely memorable day for the people of Hawaii.
Jonathan Yorck - Hawaii