On 31 May 1979, Ian Smith left the stage as Prime Minister on the last day of white rule in Rhodesia. His legacy was a state unrecognised by the international community, subjected to trade boycotts, and a country ravaged by civil war.
On his last day in office, he addressed himself to the country’s white minority during a televised press conference, in which he said that the territory’s new government would collapse unless whites remained to fight on in the army.
His successor, Bishop Muzorewa, ushered in the state ofZimbabwe Rhodesia with a pre-taped midnight television address to the country.
The two sized covers (below) were presented in a specially printed linen folder, bound (above).
During a two-proposition referendum held in 1969, the proposal for severing all remaining ties to the British Crown passed by a majority of 61,130 votes to 14,327. Rhodesia declared itself a republic on 2 March 1970.
Under the new constitution, a president served as ceremonial head of state, with the prime minister nominally reporting to him.Some in Rhodesian government had hoped in vain that the declaration of a republic would finally prompt other nations to grant recognition.