Lech Walesa led Solidarity, a workers’ movement that resisted Poland’s Communist government. Solidarity’s success in securing freer elections contributed to ending the Cold War.
Thirty years ago this month, in November 1989, Walesa visited the United States. He stopped in Chicago, which has one of the world’s largest populations of Polish speakers. Mayor Richard M. Daley, Governor James R. Thompson, and other officials welcomed Walesa and held a luncheon in his honor.
A little more than a year after this visit, Walesa was elected president of Poland.