1-4: Red Cross fund: Diet of Finland members (1) (issued in 1938)
5-7: FIS World Ski Championship (2) in Lahti (1938)
8: Disabled soldiers' fund (1938)
9: Settlement in North America (3) 300th anniversary ((1938)
10-13: Tercentenary of postal service (4) (1938)
14: The International Committee of the Red Cross 75th anniversary (1939)
15-18: 1940 Red Cross fund: historical uniforms (5)
19: National defence fund (1940)
20: Helsinki University (6) tercentenary (1940)
21-24: 1941 Red Cross fund
25: Brothers-in-Arms fund (1941)
1,2: Struggle for freedom: R. H. Ryti (7) and C. Mannerheim (1942)
3-7: 1942 Red Cross fund: coats of arms of Finnish regions
8-11: 1943 Red Cross fund: coats of arms of Finnish regions
12,13: National relief fund (1943)
1: M. Canth (8) birth centenary (1944)
2: Aero Oy airline company (9) 20th anniversary (1944)
3: National relief fund (1944)
4-7: 1945 Red Cross fund
8: President Svinhufvud's (10) 80th birthday (1945)
9: J. Sibelius' (11) 80th birthday (1945)
1: Re-conquest of Viipuri (12) (1941)
2,3: Tercentenary of the first Bible printed in Finnish language (1942)
4-7: 1944 Red Cross fund
The Diet of Finland was the legislative assembly of the Grand Duchy of Finland
from 1809 to 1906.
During the Finnish War between Sweden and Russia, the four Estates of occupied Finland (Nobility, Clergy, Burghers (city-dwellers, tradesmen and craftsmen) and Peasants) were assembled at Porvoo by Tsar Alexander I, the new Grand Duke of Finland, in 1809. The central event at Porvoo was the sovereign pledge and the oaths of the Estates in Porvoo Cathedral on March 29. Each of the Estates swore their oaths of allegiance, committing themselves to accepting the Emperor and Grand Duke of Finland as the true authority, and to keeping the constitution and the form of government unchanged. Alexander I subsequently promised to govern Finland in accordance with its laws. This was thought to essentially mean that the emperor confirmed the Swedish Instrument of Government from 1772 as the constitution of Finland, although it was also interpreted to mean respecting the existing codes and statutes. The diet had required that it would be convened again after the Finnish War, which separated Finland from Sweden, had been concluded. On September 17 of the same year, the conflict was settled but only in June 1863, after the Crimean War, did Alexander II call the Estates again. On September 18 the opening ceremony was held and the Emperor made his declaration where he promised to introduce changes to the constitution. The changes included making the diet a regularly convening body. The diet convened again in January 1867, where it established an act on the working order of the diet. The diet was to convene at least every fifth year but in practice it would come to convene every third year. The diets of the 1860s created a working and regularly convening Finnish parliament, but it also spelled an end to further promised constitutional reforms.
Stamps depict 1863 Diet Estates leaders; A. Makipeska (leader of peasants), R. I. Orn (burghers), E. Bergenheim (clergy) and J. M. Nordenstam (nobility)
(2) The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 1938 took place February 24-28, 1938 in Lahti, Finland. This was the Finnish city's second time hosting the championships after having done so in 1926. The festive opening ceremony were witnessed by about 10.000 spectators. Total of 14 countries were signed up for the games. There were lot of participants in all 5 events. For the event Finnish Post issued first sport stamps.
as subjects of the Swedish Crown, were included in Sweden's seventeenth century
effort to gain a New World foothold in the Delaware Valley. It is estimated
that about half of the approximately one thousand colonists in "New Sweden"
were Finns. The colonizing effort was initiated by the Dutch-Swedish New Sweden
Company, and led by the German-born Peter Minuit. The Company Board included
a Finnish admiral, Klaus Fleming.
Two ships, Kalmar Nyckel and Fågel Grip, set sail for the New World in 1637. They arrived in 1638, and the colonists purchased land from the native Americans to build Fort Christina, named after the Swedish queen. In 1655 Dutch colonists took over the small settlement. The year 1664 saw both the arrival of a final contingent of 140 Finns, and the change of ownership of the area from the Dutch to the English.
The memory of the early Finnish settlement lived on in place names near the Delaware River such as Finland (Marcus Hook), Nya Vasa, Nya Korsholm, Tornea, Lapland, Finns Point and Mullica.
(4) A public postal service in Finland was introduced two years after the Swedish service, in 1638. The main route ran from Stockholm to Helsinki, and from there to the River Neva in Russia and south to the Baltic provinces. Eventually, the Finnish postal service was extended to all the ports round the Gulf of Bothnia.
(5) Stamps depict a 15th century crossbowman, cavalryman (17th century), officer (from 1700) and 1808/09 officer and soldier.
The University of Helsinki is a university located in Helsinki. It is the oldest
and largest university in Finland with the widest range of disciplines available.
The university was founded in 1640 by Count Per Brahe in Turku, as the Royal Academy of Turku. It was the third university founded in the Swedish Empire. Following the great city fire of Turku in 1827 and the move of the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland, to Helsinki, the university was relocated there starting from 1829 and Nicholas I re-named it Imperial Alexander University of Finland in honor of his late brother and predecessor Czar Alexander I of Russia, who had given new resources to the academy. This university was the practical center of Finnish culture in 19th century, and a remarkable cradle of nationalist movements, liberalization demands, political parties, collections of cultural materials, and student activities. It was named the University of Helsinki after Finland became independent in 1917.
The main building of the university, which was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, was completed in 1832. It is located next to the Senate Square in the heart of Helsinki's neoclassical centre, facing the Cathedral and the Government's Palace.
Risto Heikki Ryti (1889-1956) was the President of Finland from 1940 to 1944.
Ryti was born in Huittinen as one of seven sons. He was educated briefly at Pori Grammar School, and was then tutored at home, before enrolling at the University of Helsinki in 1906 to study law. After graduating in 1909, Ryti returned to his roots in Satakunta, where he established himself as a lawyer in Rauma. During this period Ryti also undertook further studies, becoming a Master of Laws. In 1914 he moved to Oxford to study maritime law, but the outbreak of World War I forced him to return to Finland. After civil war he was elected as a member of Parliament, from 1919 to 1923 and from 1927 to 1929. During his first few years in Parliament, Ryti served as chairman of the judiciary committee. In 1921 he was appointed as Finance Minister. President Ståhlberg appointed him as Chairman of the Bank of Finland, a post he remained in until he became Prime Minister in 1939 in the beginning of the Winter War. He persuaded the rest of the Cabinet to settle for peace and was one to sign the Moscow Peace Treaty in 1940. The peace, in which Finland lost large land areas was generally considered crushing. In the following precarious times Ryti bore the heavy responsibilities of state leadership as President Kyösti Kallio was struck by illness. Ryti was selected as successor to the retired Kallio just some weeks before the latter suffered a lethal stroke on December 19, 1940.
In August 1940 Ryti agreed to secret military cooperation with Germany, in order to strengthen Finland's position vis-à-vis the threatening Soviet Union. When Germany's assault on the Soviet Union begun in June 1941, Finland remained formally neutral until Soviet air raids gave an expected reason to fulfill the invasion plans some days later. Finnish troops soon regained the territory lost in the Winter War and a substantial buffer zone beyond. The Soviet Union's major offensive begun in June 1944, in a situation when Finland's relations to Germany were strained due to earlier attempts to secure a separate peace. Finland was in dire need of food, weapons and ammunition, as the Nazi Foreign Minister demanded guarantees that Finland would not again seek a separate peace. Ryti gave this guarantee, expressed as his personal guarantee that Finland under his presidency would not. Soon after the situation was stabilized, Ryti resigned and peace negotiations could begin again, this time from a stronger position although most territorial gains had been lost again.
After the war Ryti attempted to return to the Bank of Finland. However, in 1945 Finnish communists and the Soviet Union demanded he should be tried as "responsible for the war". After considerable pressure Ryti was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. President Paasikivi pardoned him in 1949. He died in 1956 and was buried with full honors.
(8) Minna Canth (1844-1897) was a Finnish playwright and short-story writer and social activist. Canth began to write while managing her family draper's shop and living as a widow raising seven children. Her first book, a collection of short stories, appeared in 1879. Canth's first drama, Murtovarkaus, was produced next year and it gained a huge success. In the beginning of the 1880's Canth become interested in the position of women and workers, and the conflict between religion and Darwin's ideas of evolution. Her new, more socially concerned plays, were attacked by conservative and religious authorities. Her work addresses issues of women's rights, particularly in the context of a prevailing culture she considered antithetical to permitting expression and realization of women's aspirations. Her play "The Pastor's Family" is her best known. In her time, she became a controversial figure. She is the first woman to receive her own flag day in Finland, starting on March 19, 2007.
Aero OY was founded by consul Bruno Lucander in 1923. Lucander had previously
run the Finnish operations of the Estonian airline Aeronaut. In mid-1923 he
concluded an agreement with Junkers Flugzeugwerke AG to provide aircraft and
technical support in exchange for a 50% ownership in the new airline. The first
flight was flown on March 20, 1924 from Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia with Junkers
F.13 aircraft equipped with floats. The last seaplane service was operated in
December 1936 following the construction of the first aerodromes in Finland.
World War II proved difficult for the airline as Helsinki and other Finnish cities suffered air raids. The company saw half of its fleet requisitioned by the Finnish Air Force during that time, and it is estimated that during the Winter War of 1939 and 1940 half of the airline's passengers were children that were evacuated to Sweden.
In 1946 the Finnish government acquired a majority stake in the company and re-established services to Europe on November 1, 1947. In 1953, the name Finnair was adopted as the official marketing brand. Finnair Oy became the company's official name in 1968.
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud af Qvalstad (1861–1944) was the President of Finland
from 1931 to 1937.
He was born in Sääksmäki. At the age of 16, he enrolled at the Imperial Alexander University of Helsinki. There he gained a Bachelor's degree in 1881, and then completed a Master of Arts degree in 1882. After this, he took a Master of Laws degree, graduating in 1886. Then he worked as a lawyer, served at district courts, and as a deputy judge at the Turku Court of Appeal. In 1892 he was appointed as a member of the Senate's law-drafting committee. As head of his family, Svinhufvud participated as a member of the Estate of Nobles in the Diet of Finland. Svinhufvud stayed mainly in the background until 1899, when Imperial Russia initiated a Russification policy for the autonomous Grand Duchy. The Finnish answer was mainly legislative and constitutional resistance, of which Svinhufvud became a central figure as a judge in the Court of Appeals, thus in 1902 Russian Governor dismissed him. Svinhufvud played a key role in the birth of a new parliamentary system in 1905 and he was elected as a member of the new Parliament in 1906. He was elected Speaker of the Parliament in 1907 and served as Speaker until 1912. He's parliamentary opening speeches, in which he laid emphasis on legality, led to the Tsar dissolving Parliament in both 1909 and 1910. During the First World War Svinhufvud refused to obey the orders of the Russian procurator, and this led to his removal from office as a judge and being exiled to Siberia. After February Revolution he returned home.
Svinhufvud was appointed as Chairman of the Senate on November 27, 1917, and was a key figure in the announcement of Finland's declaration of independence. He also personally went to Saint Petersburg to meet Lenin, who gave his official recognition of Finnish independence. Svinhufvud's Senate also authorized General Mannerheim to form a new Finnish army an act simultaneously coinciding with the beginning of the Civil War in Finland. After the Civil War Svinhufvud became Protector of State or Regent, retaining this post as Head of State. After Germany's defeat in World War I, and the failed attempt to make Finland a Monarchy, Svinhufvud withdrew from public life.
In 1925 he was the Presidential candidate but was not elected. After the emergence of the anti-communist Lapua Movement, President Relander appointed him as Prime Minister of Finland on the Lapua Movement's insistence. Svinhufvud was elected President in 1931, and appointed Mannerheim as Chairman of the Defence Council. Svinhufvud was not a supporter of Parliamentarism. It was due to this that, in the Presidential election of 1937, the Social Democrats and the Agrarian party voted against him. He was not re-elected. Svinhufvud died at Luumäki in 1944.
Julius Christian Sibelius (1865–1957) was a Finnish composer of classical
music and one of the most notable composers of the late 19th and early 20th
centuries. His music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish
The core of Sibelius' oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies. In addition to the Symphonies, Sibelius' best-known compositions include Finlandia, Valse Triste, the Violin Concerto, the Karelia Suite and The Swan of Tuonela. Other works include pieces inspired by the Kalevala, over 100 songs for voice and piano, incidental music for 13 plays, the opera The Maiden in the Tower, chamber music, piano music, 21 separate publications of choral music, and Masonic ritual music. Sibelius composed prolifically until the mid-1920s. However, soon after completing his Seventh Symphony (1924) and the tone poem Tapiola (1926), he stopped composing altogether; this lasted for the remaining thirty years of his life.
12) After the Winter War (from 1393 to 1940) the city of Viipuri and surrounding area was given to Soviet Union and was incorporated in to the Karelo Finnish SSR. As the town was still held by the Finns, the remaining Finnish population, some 10,000 people, had to be evacuated in haste before the handover. Thus, practically the whole population of Finnish Viipuri was resettled elsewhere in Finland. During the Continuation War Finnish troops recaptured the city on August 29, 1941. It was again occupied by Soviet army in 1944 and is now part of Russia. During the Soviet era the name of the town was changed to Vyborg.
Stamp depicts famous Vyborg Castle, a Swedish built medieval fortress around which the town evolved. Currently it is a museum.