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Norway's Post-War Period on Stamps

It has been claimed that history is far too an important and serious subject to leave to the historians. Norway Post has taken the chance of writing history on the stamps issued for its 350th anniversary. The intention of the series is to define and portray the eight most important events and trends of Norway’s post-war history.

Reconstruction of Norway
Hammer, plumb and crane - and the political joint programme - were the chosen tools for the reconstruction of Norway after the war. The programme was typical of its time, an expression of the spirit of unity that was created during the occupation. It outlined, for example, the prerequisites for the economic policy and working conditions. Only a year after the end of the war, industrial production and the gross national product had already passed the pre-war level.

In 1947, the Kon-Tiki and Tor Heyerdahl achieved the impossible: the balsa raft had drifted for 101 days, covering 8000 km, the distance from Callao in Peru to Raroia in Tuamotu and had thereby proved that the South-American Indians could have reached Polynesia on their rafts and consequently helped to influence the culture there.

Environmental Protection Act in 1914
Norway passed its first Environmental Protection Act in 1914; it established its first national park (‘Rondane) in 1962, and it set up a separate Ministry of Environment in 1972. Awareness of the need to protect natural resources grew considerably in the 1950s and much of the attention came to be directed at the protection of river courses. The feather on the stamp is a grouse feather, and the symbol on its left is the symbol of the national parks.

It is all about solidarity, about caring for and taking care of each other. The stamp devoted to the welfare state leaves no doubt of this. The most radical of all social reforms after the second world war was the introduction of a national insurance scheme in accordance with the Act dated 17 June 1966.

Oil-producing country
Norway became an oil-producing country in 1969. In the course of nine months starting in the autumn of that year, the Ekofisk oilfield changed from an oil find into a source of raw material that was ready to go on stream. In the summer of 1970, it became clear that the Ekofisk field was one of the twenty largest in the world. Today, Norway is one of the two or three largest oil producers in the world. In 1996, oil revenues contributed about N0K 57 billion to the public purse.

Grete Waitz
Grete Waitz’ victory in the world marathon for women in Helsinki in 1983 was more than just a great athletic achievement by an even greater pioneer and athlete. On the anniversary stamp, she is portrayed just as much as a leader and model for women liberation as the winner of a mass sports event. It is a matter of daring, relying on your own strength, meeting on the same half of the field without looking for revenge.

Askøy Bridge
The Askøy Bridge fully deserves a place on the stamp commemorating the communications revolution, because what we see is the longest suspension bridge in Scandinavia, with a centre span of 850 meters and lifts in two of the tower legs. It is true that most of us are now traveling more than ever before by air, sea and road and we are on fairly good terms with PCs and television, mobile phones and Internet, but there is still every reason to assume that the electronic revolution will continue to accelerate.

Winter Olympics
The Winter Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994 were just as much a reflection of the export and import of culture as they were of yet another sports event. Although the Winter Olympics took more account than any other event has done of the broader concept of culture and the cultural inheritance of Morgedal, cradle of skiing, torch bearer Crown Prince Haakon convinces us of a kind of continuity that will keep us linked up with more traditional concepts.

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