In 1860, Poland under Russian rule issued its first postage stamp — it was similar in design to Russian stamps of the time; following the January 1863 uprising, Poland lost its autonomy. The postal services were controlled by Russia and Russian stamps were used in Poland. Between 1865 and 1916 all Polish territory (with no exceptions) belonged to Russia. In late 1918 the first provisional issue of Polish stamps was approved by the Post’s Ministry. In 1923 astronomer Mikolaj Copernicus and theologian Hieronim Konarski were honoured on Polish stamps. In 1932, Poland issued a stamp celebrating the 200th birth anniversary of George Washington. The portrait of the first USA president is flanked by freedom fighter Tadeusz KoÅ›ciuszko and General Kazimierz PuÅ‚aski. In 1946 a special stamp was issued to celebrate the first anniversary of the end of World War II. Poland was liberated 9 May 1945 by the Soviet Red Army.
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