The Yalta Conference

The Yalta Conference was the last meeting of the original "Big Three" of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. The conference, beginning February 4 and ending February 11, 1945, took place in the former Imperial palace at Yalta in the Crimea on the north side of the Black Sea. Major agreements reached during the contentious meeting included the dismemberment, disarmament and demilitarization of Germany, which the three powers saw as "requisite for future peace and security." The Allies also agreed to convene a conference in April in San Francisco on the proposed world organization, the United Nations.

Yalta cover #1
This cover was produced by Fidelity Stamp Company of Washington, D.C. It was postmarked in the capital city on February 7, 1945, the first day word of the conference was made public. Fidelity was a consistent producer of event covers during the war.

This cover was produced by U.S. Army Capt. Frank L. Teixeira, who designed and published 34 patriotic covers during the war. This is a typical Teixeira cover with his corner card, his signature as censor, and an APO 1 postmark over his free frank.
Yalta #2

Yalta #3
Like the Teixeira cover, this cover is postmarked February 12, 1945, the day after the conference concluded and the world press was given details of the meeting. This cover was postmarked in Roosevelt, New York. The cachet maker is unconfirmed; some sources credit Smart Craft as the producer. As a reminder of a different era, note that each Allied leader is depicted with his tobacco product of choice--FDR with a cigarette, Churchill with his trademark cigar, and Stalin with a pipe. Imagine seeing that today!

As mentioned above, one of the more tangible results of the Yalta conference was the agreement to establish the United Nations. That meeting began April 25, 1945 in San Francisco, and the U.S. issued a stamp that day to mark the occasion. In the wake of Roosevelt's death on April 12, the stamp was hastily revised to add his name, becoming a quasi-memorial issue. This cover, a second-day cover postmarked in Washington, features an Art Craft cachet with a photo of the Big Three at Yalta. Using a photo in a cachet was a significant departure for Art Craft; most Art Craft cachets then and now are original works of art.
Yalta #4

Yalta #5
This first day cover for the 1974 British Churchill Centenary stamps was produced by Colorano, with a "silk" cachet of the Big Three at Yalta.

This is an amusing cover, produced by the International Stamp Collectors Society for the 100th anniversary of Churchill's birth. Note that WSC and FDR have been lifted out of a Yalta conference photograph and deposited into some kind of garden. Bad guy Stalin was left behind. Ironically, this kind of photographic fakery is worthy of a Soviet propagandist, not a stamp club.
Yalta #6

Yalta #7
This cover notes the 30th anniversary of the Yalta conference. The cover was produced by the now-defunct FDR Philatelic Society and was postmarked in Hyde Park, New York, location of Roosevelt's home and final resting place.

This cover marks the 45th anniversary of the Yalta meeting. It was produced by Merchandising Corporation of America, Inc., in conjunction with The New York Times. The cover was sold with a mounting page that reproduced the front page of the February 13, 1945 issue of the newspaper, which carried a report of the conference.
Yalta #8

Yalta #10
The Marshall Islands issued a Yalta stamp in their World War II anniversary series.

A first day cover from Russia, with their 1995 World War II anniversary stamps, postmarked in Moscow on May 8 (the 50th anniversary of V-E Day). A Russian stamp featuring Churchill and Roosevelt (and Stalin for that matter) would certainly not have been issued during the Soviet era. Yalta #9

Yalta #11
My final Yalta cover is a special one, postmarked in Livadiya (Yalta) on the 50th anniversary of the conference, and sent to Poltava, Ukraine. The postmark at the foot of the cover is an unchanged USSR handstamp (note the "CCCP" at the top). It was not uncommon in the first few years after the 1991 dissolution of the USSR for old postmarking devices to remain in use. Perhaps use of an old USSR postmark was intentional in Crimea, as the population is generally Russian-speaking, not Ukrainian.

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