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For week ended June 27, 1999 Posted 26 Jun 1999

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Mormon's effort to save Czech works honored (Czechs honor Utahn)

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Mormon's effort to save Czech works honored (Czechs honor Utahn)
Deseret News 21Jun99 L5

LOGAN, UTAH -- After serving an LDS mission to Czechoslovakia in 1931, Spencer Taggart was working in the US Embassy in Prague when the communists took over the government. Soon, the communists began destroying Czech records and books. Taggart was concerned that important historical works would be lost forever, and managed to collect and send more than 70 cases of books out of the country.

Later, as things calmed down in the country, Taggart shifted his emphassis, "After the Communists took over, my emphasis shifted to making sure I got the most important works to where they would be safe and preserved," he said.

The collection he saved ended up at the University of Utah. Now, Jaroslav Panek, vice rector of Charles University in Prague, has presented Taggart with his University's Jubilee Award in recognition for his contribution more than five decades ago.

On receiving the medal, Taggart broke into tears, "I love your country, and I love your people," he told Panek at the ceremony, which was held Thursday, June 17th at Utah State University. Taggart will also be presented with the Ph.D. in history that he earned at Charles University, but which the communist government refused to allow the University to grant him.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information