The world's oldest democracy, which had been having a hell of a time in World War II, was temporarily bailed out of trouble last week by the world's biggest democracy.

Iceland, whose Parliament began meeting on the sounding, desolate plains of Thingvellir (pronounced Thing-vod-lef) in 930 A.D., found itself overrun by British and U.S. soldiers, all with a healthy taste for blondes. Prices had risen 70% in less than a year and a half. Fishermen—fishing is Iceland's chief industry—netted almost as many mines as fish. The State liquor monopoly was being wrecked by bootlegging. Premier Hermann Jónasson's Cabinet had fallen twice...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!