Sunday, January 19, 2014

Thomas Masaryk

This U.S. 1960 4¢ Thomas Masaryk Champions of Liberty stamp was part of the Champions of Liberty Series, and was issued in honor of Czech patriot Thomas Masaryk. The stamp was issued in Washington, DC on 7.3.1960.

Thomas Masaryk in English (7 March 1850 – 14 September 1937), was an Austrian-Czech politician, sociologist and philosopher, who as an eager advocate of Czechoslovak independence during World War I became the founder and first President of Czechoslovakia. He originally wished to reform the Austro-Hungarian monarchy into a democratic federal state, but during the First World War he began to favour the abolition of the monarchy and, with the help of the Allied Powers, eventually succeeded. During World War I, he organized groups of Czech revolutionaries, and provided valuable intelligence to the Allies. 

Masaryk gained support for his cause from U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, and called for Czechoslovakian independence in a speech on the steps of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. After the Austria-Hungary Empire was dissolved following World War I, Masaryk was named head of the Provisional Government. He was elected first President of the Czechoslovak Republic in November 1918.

Thank you Merja.

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