One Page. The Four Freedoms Awards

From Stamps of the World

The Four Freedoms Awards

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The Four Freedoms Award is an annual award presented to those men and women whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to those principles which US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed in his historic speech to United States Congress on January 6, 1941, as essential to democracy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear.

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The annual award is handed out in alternate years in New York City by the Roosevelt Institute to Americans and in Middelburg, Netherlands, by the Roosevelt Stichting to non-Americans. The choice of Middelburg was motivated by the suspected descendance of the family Roosevelt from Oud-Vossemeer in the municipality Tholen.

F.D.Roosevelt 1882-1945


On July 1, 1994, a block with 4 stamps under the title "Four Freedoms Souvenir Sheet" (Scott number 2840) appears in the USA. The block shows a drawing by Norman Rockwell, in which the artist appears three times. This 1960 work is called "Triple Self-Portrait" and it appeared on the front page of "The Saturday Evening Post" on February 13th.

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The block also depicts 4 paintings that relate to Roosevelt's four freedoms. The paintings were made in 1943 by Norman Rockwell. The individual works are depicted again here:

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The awards were first presented in 1982 on the occasion of both the centenary of President Roosevelt's birthday and the bicentennial of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Netherlands. Roosevelt's wife Eleanor has advocated for the four freedoms to be included in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Freedoms are the foundation of human rights around the world. A price was set for each of the four freedoms. In addition, a separate, general freedom prize (the Freedom Medal) is awarded to someone who has used his function, personality and influence for a long time for human freedom in all its aspects.


Engraving of the Four Freedoms at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.
In 1992 the sculpture “The Four Freedoms” by Nico van den Boezem was revealed in Oud-Vossemeer.

The first Freedom Awards (1982)

In 1982 the first 5 awards were given in Middelburg to 5 people from the Netherlands:

1. Freedom Medal: H.R.M.Princess Juliana of the Netherlands. Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina (30 April 1909 – 20 March 2004) was Queen of the Netherlands from 1948 until her abdication in April 1980.

2. Freedom of Speech: Maximilianus "Max" van der Stoel (3 August 1924 – 23 April 2011) was a Dutch politician and diplomat of the Labour Party (PvdA) and activist who served as High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE from 1 January 1993 until 1 July 2001.

3. Freedom of Worship: Willem Adolph Visser 't Hooft (20 September 1900 – 4 July 1985) was a Dutch theologian who became the first secretary general of the World Council of Churches in 1948 and held this position until his retirement in 1966.

4. Freedom from Want: Hendrikus Johannes "Johan" Witteveen (12 June 1921 – 23 April 2019) was a Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and economist. He served as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1 September 1973 until 18 June 1978.

5. Freedom from Fear: Jan Herman van Roijen (10 April 1905 – 16 March 1991) was a Dutch diplomat and politician. He was Dutch foreign minister in 1946.

Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell, born February 3, 1894, in New York City, is best known for his covers for "The Saturday Evening Post."

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In 1916, he submitted his first cover painting to "The Post." Over the next forty-seven years, he created 321 original cover illustrations. During these years, he also supplied illustrations for "The Ladies' Home Journal," "McCall's" and "Life," and illustrated books such as Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn." Rockwell died on November 8, 1978, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.


1. Most of the texts came from Wikipedia.

2. Illustrations and Postage Stamps were found on various Internet Sites.

3. Details on History and Laureates are also described by Wikipedia at

4. Compiled by Toon Oomens (Terneuzen, the Netherlands).

5. Thank you for visiting!