Madagascar Independence – 1960

June 26, 1960 – Madagascar gains its independence from France.

The occupation of France during the Second World War tarnished the prestige of the colonial administration in Madagascar and galvanized the growing independence movement, leading to the Malagasy Uprising of 1947.  This movement led the French to establish reformed institutions in 1956 under the Loi Cadre (Overseas Reform Act), and Madagascar moved peacefully towards independence.  The Malagasy Republic was proclaimed on October 14, 1958, as an autonomous state within the French community. A period of provisional government ended with the adoption of a constitution in 1959 and full independence on June 26, 1960.

The stamp pictured below – printed in Madagascar – shows tribute to French-appointed President Tsiranana, first president of Madagascar, and Independence Day, circa 1960.

Madagascar Independence Stamp 1960


Pierre Mendes France, 1907 – 1982

June 18, 1954: Pierre Mendès France became Premier of France. Born in 1907 in Paris, Mendès France’s came from a family of Sephardic Jews. He was trained as a lawyer and fought with the Free French during World War II. After the war, Mendès France served in numerous governments in the revolving door of the Fourth Republic. Mendès France was an anti-colonialist. He served as Premier after the fall of Dien Bien Phu, and negotiated the end to the French Indo-China War. Several Catholic political leaders attacked him for this and the attack quickly became anti-Semitic. Mendès France also began the negotiations that would lead to independence for the French colonies in North Africa. Mendès France’s political signature was a glass of milk. After the war, some French leaders were concerned that French people were drinking too much wine and starting to drink at too early an age. When Mendès France would appear in public, there invariably was a glass of milk on the lectern, which he made a point of sipping some time during his presentations. Mendès France passed away on October 18, 1982.

La Poste issued a 2-franc stamp on December 16, 1983 commemorating Mendès France (Scott No. 1906):

Pierre Mendes France - France 12-16-83

N. America’s First Socialist Government

June 15, 1944 – In the Saskatchewan general election, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), led by Tommy Douglas, is elected and forms the first socialist government in North America.

The CCF aimed to alleviate the suffering that workers and farmers, the ill and the old endure under capitalism, seen most starkly during the Great Depression, through the creation of a Co-operative Commonwealth, which would entail economic co-operation, public ownership of the economy, and political reform.

The Co-operative Commonwealth was defined as a “community freed from the domination of irresponsible financial and economic power in which all social means of production and distribution, including land, are socially owned and controlled either by voluntarily organized groups of producers and consumers or – in the case of major public services and utilities and such productive and distributive enterprises as can be conducted most efficiently when owned in common – by public corporations responsible to the people’s elected representatives.”

Thomas ClementTommyDouglas, (October 20, 1904 – February 24, 1986) was a Canadian social democratic politician and Baptist minister. He left federal politics to become the Saskatchewan CCF’s leader and then the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961. His government introduced the continent’s first single-payer, universal healthcare program.

On June 29, 2012 Canada Post issued this domestic rate ($0.61) postage stamp honoring Douglas:

tommy douglas - canada


Teddy Kollek, 1911 – 2007

June 11, 1967: Teddy Kollek arranged for 20,000 bottles of milk for infants to be taken in to the Muslim, Christian and Armenian Quarters of the Old City in Jerusalem.

Theodor “Teddy” Kollek was an Israeli politician who served as the mayor of Jerusalem from 1965 to 1993, and founder of the Jerusalem Foundation. Kollek was re-elected five times, in 1969, 1973, 1978, 1983 and 1989. After reluctantly running for a seventh term in 1993 at the age of 82, he lost to Likud candidate and future Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert.

During his tenure, Jerusalem developed into a modern city, especially after its reunification in 1967.  He was once called “the greatest builder of Jerusalem since King Herod.

On June 26, 2012, Israel Post issued a 9,40 NIS stamp honoring Kollek:

teddy kollek - israel