The Overrun Countries Commemorative Issue
July 12, 1943

By Hal Klein

The National and Merchant flag of Czechoslovakia was selected for the stamp issued in that county’s honor.

On June 7,1943, the Post Office announced that the stamp would be placed on sale in Washington, D.C., on July 12. On June 25, the die proof was approved and on July 7, the first delivery was made to the Post Office at that city. Ceremonies in connection with the sale of the first sheet of these stamps were held at the White House on July 12,1943. This date was the first anniversary of the founding of Lidice, Illinois, “in memory of the Czechoslovakian town by the Nazis, its men slaughtered, the women sent to concentration camps, the children to Nazi schools to be taught Fascist ideologies. “Postmaster General Franck C. Walker, in the presence of the Czechoslovakian Ambassador to the United States, V. S. Hurban, sold the first sheet to the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On the first day of issue in Washington 617,801 stamps were sold and 145,112 cover cancelled.

The stamps were printed entirely from the two top halves of the plates. Therefore, the country name strips always have the registration markers while the strips at the bottom of the panes always come without such markings. Twenty million stamps were ordered and of this amount about ten percent were sold at the Philatelic Agency, where they were available until April 10,1944.