On June 16, 2010, the Marshall Islands Postal Service issued 24 new stamps featuring the Marshallese Alphabet.
There have been many dramatic changes for the Marshall Islands over the last century. Held for three decades by Japan, the islands were liberated by U.S. forces in World War II, and were designated a United Nations Trust Territory in 1947. Today, after many decades of dealing with one distant government after another, the people of the Marshall Islands are in control of their own destiny. The first of many important steps towards this goal was taken in 1979, when the Marshallese adopted a constitution. In 1982, the people of the islands signed an agreement, called the Compact of Free Association, which envisioned complete self-government. The compact came into force when the Trust Territory was dissolved in 1986 and the Republic of the Marshall Islands became independent.