National Geographic : 1969 Jun
San Dimitri Ta'Pi Dwejrca FungusA Wardija .. Ruin 'T Lighthouse Elevations and soundings in feet 0 5 STATUTEMILES DRAWNBY ISKANDARBADAY COMPILEDBYVIRGINIAL. BAZA GEOGRAPHICARTDIVISION © NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY wu Church Zebbug Carb* ° GC Bwas s+ Xag Point endi Bay-l. • 450 Mediterr Wahx Point Raheb Point, ,,-Marsalforn Bay , "r Qala Qala Point CON COMING 48A 4 Arax Point CL eCLTL tsar .e . MelliePha I Qammiep Point Bay ,1 Sliema ' - Point Marsamxett Harbour -VALLETTA , Grand Harbour Kalkara Vittoriosa rsaskala 22o dlokk ', Proud moment for a new nation INDEPENDENCE DAY, September 21, 1964: Prime Minister Dr. Giorgio Borg Olivier adds his voice to Malta's rejoicing. Britain's Prince Philip, far left, represents the Crown. The world honors Malta, owing her a debt of gratitude. In 1942, under increas ing Axis bombing, the island stood alone, cut off from her allies. Between Malta and German conquest stood only the courage of her people. Into the limestone rocks they tunneled, while above them a dozen times a day the air-raid sirens wailed. Still Malta held on. It was August before the most famous of the Malta con voys-four cargo ships and a tanker out of an original 14 supply vessels-limped into Grand Harbour with food and fuel for the desperate Maltese people. King George VI awarded the George Cross, Britain's highest civilian decora tion, for the first time to an entire popu lation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, returning from the Teheran Conference, delivered the thanks of the American people to Malta, "one tiny bright flame in the darkness, a beacon of hope for clearer days which have come." KODACHROME BY DAVIDBEAL,BLACKSTAR© N.G.S. MALTA A T THE CROSSROADS of the Mediterranean, the islands of the Maltese nation-Malta, Gozo, and Comino-have played a strategic role for centuries. Pawns of contending powers, they did not become a sovereign nation within the Brit ish Commonwealth until 1964. The islands today hold almost 2,700 persons per square mile, making Malta one of Europe's most crowded countries. AREA: 122 sq. mi. POPULATION: 322,000. GOVERNMENT: Con stitutional monarchy. LANGUAGE: Maltese, English (the official second language). RELIGION: Almost wholly Roman Catholic. ECONOMY: Tourism, shipbuilding and ship repair, light indus tries, agriculture, fishing. MAJOR CITIES: Valletta, capital, 15,300; Sliema, resort and residential center, 21,000; Mdina, old capital, 1,000; Victoria, capital of Gozo, 5,500. 857 SURVIVING REMNANT of a land bridge, Malt. once linked the Italian peninsula to Africa. Caves such as Ghar Dalam Lbound with bones of prehistoric h ppopotamuses and elephants th t migrated from Europe with the adv nce of the Ice Age. - 43'O- 14110'