The Kim Il-sung commemorative from the “Heroes of the White House” series. The founder and leader of North Korea, Kim made all major policy decisions and appointments from 1948 to 1994. Enforcing respect, he had more than 30,000 people imprisoned for reasons such as printing his portrait on poor quality paper or wrapping parcels with newspapers bearing his picture. Dissent was punished by public executions and disappearances of the dissenters and their extended families.
The Nicolae Ceaușescu stamp from the “Heroes of the White House” series. The last Communist leader of Romania, Ceaușescu held all governing power. He controlled the media and press, and created his own personality cult, giving himself the title “Geniul din Carpați” (“The Genius of the Carpathians”). The most important day of the year was his birthday, a day when Romanians put on a happy face since appearing sad was too risky to contemplate.
Idi Amin Dada, the President of Uganda, from the “Heroes of the White House” series. One of the cruelest despots in history, his rule was characterized by political repression, ethnic persecution, nepotism, corruption and gross economic mismanagement. He said, “In any country there must be people who have to die. They are the sacrifices any nation has to make to achieve law and order.” Observers estimate that more than 300,000 Ugandans paid the price for greatness under his regime.
Panama celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Canal with lots of beer and art by Ludwig Hohlwein.
Lavrentiy Beria, the most influential of Stalin’s secret police chiefs, overseer of the vast expansion of the Gulag and secret detention facilities for scientists, from the “Heroes of the White House” series. “Let our enemies know that anyone who attempts to raise a hand against the will of our people, against the will of the party… will be mercilessly crushed and destroyed.”
The U.S. 13-cent special delivery issue featuring Salome with the head of John the Baptist as painted by Guido Reni.