Showing posts with label Canal Zone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canal Zone. Show all posts

Monday, May 04, 2020

May 4th in stamps Tito, Margaret Thatcher, Panama Canal

Here are some events that happened on May 4th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1904 – The United States begins construction of the Panama Canal.

The Panama Canal (Spanish: Canal de Panamá) is an artificial 82 km (51 mi) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a conduit for maritime trade. Canal locks are at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 m (85 ft) above sea level, and then lower the ships at the other end. The original locks are 32.5 m (110 ft) wide. A third, wider lane of locks was constructed between September 2007 and May 2016. The expanded canal began commercial operation on June 26, 2016. The new locks allow transit of larger, neo-Panamax ships, capable of handling more cargo.

The construction of the Panama Canal is where the expression "Another Day, Another Dollar" comes from, as the workers were rumored to be paid a dollar a day for their

France began work on the canal in 1881, but stopped because of engineering problems and a high worker mortality rate. The United States took over the project in 1904 and opened the canal on August 15, 1914. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the Panama Canal shortcut greatly reduced the time for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, enabling them to avoid the lengthy, hazardous Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America via the Drake Passage or Strait of Magellan and the even less popular route through the Arctic Archipelago and the Bering Strait.

Colombia, France, and later the United States controlled the territory surrounding the canal during construction. The US continued to control the canal and surrounding Panama Canal Zone until the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties provided for handover to Panama. After a period of joint American–Panamanian control, in 1999, the canal was taken over by the Panamanian government. It is now managed and operated by the government-owned Panama Canal Authority.

Annual traffic has risen from about 1,000 ships in 1914, when the canal opened, to 14,702 vessels in 2008, for a total of 333.7 million Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tons. By 2012, more than 815,000 vessels had passed through the canal. It takes 11.38 hours to pass through the Panama Canal.The American Society of Civil Engineers has ranked the Panama Canal one of the seven wonders of the modern world

Various stamps depicting the Panama Canal

USA 2c Panama Canal

Canal Zone Airmail Panama Canal

Panama Canal Opens 1998



1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher (13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013) was a British stateswoman who served as prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century and the first woman to hold that office. A Soviet journalist dubbed her "The Iron Lady", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As Prime Minister, she implemented policies known as Thatcherism.

Thatcher studied chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, and worked briefly as a research chemist, before becoming a barrister. She was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her secretary of state for education and science in his 1970–74 government. In 1975, she defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become leader of the Opposition, the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom. On becoming prime minister after winning the 1979 general election, Thatcher introduced a series of economic policies intended to reverse high unemployment and Britain's struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an ongoing recession.  Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Her popularity in her first years in office waned amid recession and rising unemployment, until victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her landslide re-election in 1983. She survived an assassination attempt by the Provisional IRA in the 1984 Brighton hotel bombing and achieved a political victory against the National Union of Mineworkers in the 1984–85 miners' strike.

Thatcher was re-elected for a third term with another landslide in 1987, but her subsequent support for the Community Charge ("poll tax") was widely unpopular, and her increasingly Eurosceptic views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as prime minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership (characterised by journalist Simon Heffer as "a rare coup d’état at the top of the British politics: the first since Lloyd George sawed Asquith off at the knees in 1916"). After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher (of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire) which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. In 2013, she died of a stroke at the Ritz Hotel in London, at the age of 87.

Although a controversial figure in British political culture, Thatcher is nonetheless viewed favourably in historical rankings of British prime ministers. Her tenure constituted a realignment towards neoliberal policies in the United Kingdom and debate over the complicated legacy of Thatcherism persists into the 21st century.

Stamp from Great Britain depicting Margaret Thatcher

Great Britain Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher


1980 Died: Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav field marshal and politician, 1st President of Yugoslavia (b. 1892)

Josip Broz (7 May 1892 – 4 May 1980), commonly known as Tito, was a Yugoslav communist revolutionary and statesman, serving in various roles from 1943 until his death in 1980. During World War II, he was the leader of the Partisans, often regarded as the most effective resistance movement in occupied Europe. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian and concerns about the repression of political opponents have been raised, Tito has traditionally been seen as a benevolent dictator.

He was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad. Viewed as a unifying symbol, his internal policies maintained the peaceful coexistence of the nations of the Yugoslav federation. He gained further international attention as the chief leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, alongside Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.

Broz was born to a Croat father and Slovene mother in the village of Kumrovec, Austria-Hungary (now in Croatia). Drafted into military service, he distinguished himself, becoming the youngest sergeant major in the Austro-Hungarian Army of that time. After being seriously wounded and captured by the Imperial Russians during World War I, he was sent to a work camp in the Ural Mountains. He participated in some events of the Russian Revolution in 1917 and subsequent Civil War.

Upon his return to the Balkans in 1918, Broz entered the newly established Kingdom of Yugoslavia, where he joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ). He later was elected as General Secretary (later Chairman of the Presidium) of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (1939–1980). During World War II, after the Nazi invasion of the area, he led the Yugoslav guerrilla movement, the Partisans (1941–1945).

After the war, he was selected as Prime Minister (1944–1963), and President (later President for Life) (1953–1980) of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). From 1943 to his death in 1980, Tito held the rank of Marshal of Yugoslavia, serving as the supreme commander of the Yugoslav military, the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). With a highly favourable reputation abroad in both Cold War blocs, he received some 98 foreign decorations, including the Legion of Honour and the Order of the Bath.

Tito was the chief architect of the second Yugoslavia, a socialist federation that lasted from November 1943 until April 1992. Despite being one of the founders of Cominform, he became the first Cominform member to defy Soviet hegemony in 1948. He was the only leader in Joseph Stalin's time to leave Cominform and begin with his country's own socialist program, which contained elements of market socialism. Economists active in the former Yugoslavia, including Czech-born Jaroslav Vanek and Yugoslav-born Branko Horvat, promoted a model of market socialism that was dubbed the Illyrian model. Firms were socially owned by their employees and structured on workers' self-management; they competed in open and free markets.

Tito built a very powerful cult of personality around himself, which was maintained by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia after his death.

Tito managed to keep ethnic tensions under control by delegating as much power as possible to each republic. The 1974 Yugoslav Constitution defined SFR Yugoslavia as a "federal republic of equal nations and nationalities, freely united on the principle of brotherhood and unity in achieving specific and common interest." Each republic was also given the right to self-determination and secession if done through legal channels. Lastly, Kosovo and Vojvodina, the two constituent provinces of Serbia, received substantially increased autonomy, including de facto veto power in the Serbian parliament.

Ten years after his death, Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe, and Yugoslavia descended into civil war.

Stamps from Yugoslavia depicting Tito

Yugoslavia 1962 Tito Imperf Sheet

Yugoslavia 1967  Marshal Tito Set

Yugoslavia Marshall Tito - Airmail

Yugoslavia Tito Birthday complete Set