Issue Date: April 4, 1952
City: Washington, D.C.
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10½
Color: Deep violet
U.S. #1008 was issued to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty. In the center of the stamp, a torch represents freedom and peace. The hands holding the torch symbolize the strength and unity of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization members.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The stability of world politics took a dramatic turn at the end of World War II. With the Soviet Union gaining control in Europe, military strength became a leading concern among non-Communist countries that feared they would be unable to defend against Soviet aggression.
In response to the development of the Cold war, twelve nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty on April 4, 1949, in Washington, D.C. They were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States. Member nations agreed to maintain a unified military force to defend against Soviet invasion, and pledged to consider an attack on one as an attack on others. This group of allied nations became known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Most of NATO’s money and troops have come from the U.S., which has greatly increased American influence in Europe. Past NATO commanders have included generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and Alexander Haig.
Today, NATO consists of the twelve original member nations plus Greece, Turkey, Spain, and Germany. The organization’s headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium.