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Happy 99th Birthday to Iceland!

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Happy 99th Birthday to Iceland!

Post Neon Knight on Fri 1 Dec - 21:40

http://icelandmag.visir.is/article/day-history-iceland-became-a-sovereign-state-99-years-ago

On December 1st, 1918 Iceland became a sovereign nation, the Kindgom of Iceland. Iceland was thus recognized by Denmark as a fully independent nation, with its own national flag and coat of arms, but in a personal union with the Danish King who was also the head of state of Iceland.

While December 1st was celebrated as a national holiday during the interwar period December 1 1918 was not a day of celebrations. The reason was that the winter of 1918-19 was very tough: The winter of 1917-18 is known as "The Winter of Great Frosts", as the temperature in January 1918 had dropped to below -30°C (-22°F). Many fjords had frozen and sea ice closed shipping lanes. The winter of 1918-19 was not as bad, but the arrival of the Spanish Flu in Iceland in early October, an eruption in the volcano Katla on October 12-November 4 and heavy winter storms in November and December convinced the authorities it was a bad idea to organize public celebrations on December 1st.

In the 1920s and 30s December 1st was celebrated in larger towns, and students at the University of Iceland observed the Sovereignty Day. When Iceland was declared a Republic in 1944 December 1st was recognized as one of the offical flag days of the republic.



Hannes Hafstein - the first Prime Minister of Iceland

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland#History

Kingdom of Iceland 1918–1944

The Danish–Icelandic Act of Union, an agreement with Denmark signed on 1st December 1918 and valid for 25 years, recognised Iceland as a fully sovereign state in a personal union with Denmark. The Government of Iceland established an embassy in Copenhagen and requested that Denmark handle Icelandic foreign policy. Danish embassies around the world displayed two coats of arms and two flags: those of the Kingdom of Denmark and those of the Kingdom of Iceland.

During World War II, Iceland joined Denmark in asserting neutrality. After the German occupation of Denmark on 9th April 1940, the Althing replaced the King with a regent and declared that the Icelandic government would take control of foreign affairs and other matters previously handled by Denmark. A month later, British armed forces invaded and occupied the country, violating Icelandic neutrality. In 1941, the occupation was taken over by the United States so that Britain could use its troops elsewhere.


Independent republic 1944–present

On 31st December 1943, the Danish–Icelandic Act of Union expired after 25 years. Beginning on 20th May 1944, Icelanders voted in a four-day plebiscite on whether to terminate the personal union with Denmark, abolish the monarchy, and establish a republic. The vote was 97% to end the union, and 95% in favour of the new republican constitution. Iceland formally became a republic on 17th June 1944, with Sveinn Björnsson as its first president.

In 1946, the Allied occupation force left Iceland. The nation formally became a member of NATO on 30th March 1949, amid domestic controversy and riots. On 5th May 1951, a defence agreement was signed with the United States. American troops returned to Iceland as the Iceland Defence Force, and remained throughout the Cold War. The US withdrew the last of its forces on 30 September 2006.

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Re: Happy 99th Birthday to Iceland!

Post de Burgh on Fri 22 Dec - 22:13

Happy birthday Iceland! Jester

:-P

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'The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piercing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. [...]'
˜ H.P. Lovecraft
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