February 1st 2004 is the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Icelandic home rule under the leadership of Hannes Hafstein, the first minister of Iceland. The three most important stages in Iceland's struggle for independence and sovereignty in the 20th century are the inception of home rule in 1904, Iceland becoming a separate state under the Danish crown in 1918 and the founding of the Icelandic republic in 1944 are. Home rule and acceptance of the parliamentary principle were landmarks in most areas of the country's life. Icelanders took over the administration which previously had been under Danish rule. Various Danish traditions were maintained within the administration, some of them are still very much alive. The home government initiated legislation on various pressing matters and political activity began to assume its modern form. Hannes Hafstein was one of Iceland's most outstanding policitians and also one of its greatest poets. Hannes took the lead in many important national issues, among them the installment of a telephone cable to Iceland intended to bring the country closer to the outside world.