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Father Joseph Murgas with young members of his church, Wilkes-Barre, PA, circa 1920.
flipFlip to Joseph Murgas commemorative stamp, issued by Slovakia in 1939.
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Joseph Murgas seated with a group of young parish girls wearing white dresses. Five men line the back row of this photograph.

Credit: WVIA TV Public Television and Radio

After 1912, Father Murgas devoted his considerable energies to his parishioners, natural science, and Slovak independence from Austria-Hungary. A signatory of the 1918 Pittsburgh Agreement, which called for the creation of an independent state of autonomous Czech and Slovak regions, Murgas headed fund raising efforts that raised more than a million dollars for that cause. In 1939 Slovakia named its sole radio station after Murgas, and issued a commemorative stamp in his honor. When President Franklin Roosevelt christened a ship in his honor in 1994, newspapers remembered Murgas as a staunch activist for Slovakian independence rather than as a radio pioneer.

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