DAILY FEATURE: By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (December 09, 2020) – In Issue 125 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps we meet the first President of Poland elected by democratic vote.

Lech Walesa promotes Solidarity in the Republic of Poland (Stock image)

The People’s Choice

He was born in the village of Popowo, near Warsaw.  After his mandatory two-year military service, he studied in a trade school to become an electrician.  Soon after starting to work at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk he became an organizer for the shipyard’s union.  That trade-union evolved into Solidarity in 1980, and he became its leader.  He was under constant surveillance by the state, fired and arrested several times.

Then magic happened.  The iron grip of the Soviet Union on his nation rapidly rusted away in 1989. He became the first democratically elected president of Poland 30 years ago today, serving as president for five years. He is Lech Walesa.

Here is a map of Poland from 1792 with considerably different borders versus today.  The map is by Elwe.       

Poland map – 1792 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.