In 1892 King Ferdinand
established an intenational agricultural and industrial fair at
Plovdiv, an ancient trade center in Bulgaria. Among the exhibits were hunting dogs
from Aitos, and beehives from Bohemia. The fair lasted 75 days and
168,000 people visited it. In 1992 Bulgaria issued a stamp which shows
a plan of the Plovdiv Fair in 1892.
When World War I broke out
in August 1914, Bulgaria still suffered from it's defeat in the Second
Balkan War of 1913. For a time King Ferdinand, himself of German
origin pursued a policy of strict neutrality.
In the summer of 1915 the Central Powers had had
significant military successes - the British were defeated at
Gallipoli, the Russians pushed out of Poland proper. n October 14th
1915 Bulgaria entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers.
Serbia's defense collapsed; Bulgarian forces occupied all of Serbian
Macedonia and a part of Greek eastern Macedonia (the area around
Serres, Kavala, Drama). The Serbs were able to retake Bitola, and the
front stabilized. Rumania entered the war in August 1916; Bulgarian
forces occupied the Southern Dobruja. Rumania's defense quickly
The Central powers placed the Northern Dobruja under
joint German-Austrian-Bulgarian administration; Bulgarian hopes to
gain the entire province were disappointed, Prime Minister Vasil
Radoslavov resigned (June 1918). His successor Alexander Malinov
succeeded in gaining sole control over the Northern Dobruja, a short
and futile diplomatic victory.
In September 1918 the Entente launched an offensive
into Bulgarian-occupied Serb Macedonia; the Bulgarian lines were
penetrated. Physically exhausted, on September 29th, Bulgaria signed
an armistice. King Ferdinand abdicated on October 3rd 1918.
With four other stamps this stamp was intended to be
issued in 1915 to commemorate the liberation of Macedonia. They were
not put in use until 1921. By the time the stamps were issued part of
Bulgaria had been given to Yugoslavia. Tsar Ferdinand (1915-1918) is pictured in
profile in front of a map of Bulgaria with Macedonia identified below
and Dobruja above.