The Most Serene Republic of San Marino [the world’s oldest republic, so maintain the Sammarinese] was founded on this date in 301 by Saint Marinus, a stonemason fleeing persecution under Diocletian. A couple of cool things about Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino: it has no national debt [remember those days, Amuhrka?]; it had the world’s first democratically elected communist government [1945-1957]; it remained neutral during WWII, and when the New York Times erroneously reported that San Marino had declared war on Britain in 1940, the Sammarinese government SMSed 10 Downing Street to assure them otherwise; it’s also the world’s smallest republic [24 sq. mi.–Nauru tried to elbow in, at only 8.1 sq. mi., but Nauru also has jurisdiction over 166,000 sq. mi. of surrounding ocean] and has the smallest population [32,576 as of July 2012] of any Council of Europe member. And it’s rill purdy, too!
Stamp details: Stamp on top: Issued on: April 25, 1944 From: San Marino, San Marino MC #311
Stamp on bottom: Issued on: August 1, 1877 From: San Marino, San Marino MC #1