Historical moments found in the PBS archives

Since the invention of the photo and film camera, people have captured historical moments to leave a visual record for posterity, so that they could study and learn from the achievements of the past. 

In Malta, we have thousands of hours of footage stored in the PBS television archives, which show several momentous occasions from our nation’s recent history.

World War II (Siege of Malta: June 1940 – November 1942)

Malta was one of the most heavily bombed places on Earth during WWII, and many fierce battles were fought over its skies and around its waters. Many buildings in the harbour area were targeted, and people were forced to evacuate and seek protection in underground shelters.

Award of the George Cross (15/4/1942)

The George Cross is an honour awarded in the United Kingdom for acts of great heroism. As a British colony, Malta was collectively awarded the George Cross on 15th April 1952 by King George VI for the courage demonstrated by its people during World War II.

Independence Day (21/9/1964)

Like many former colonies, Malta celebrates the day it obtained independence as a national holiday. Independence Day is celebrated annually on 21st September and is one of five national holidays in Malta.

Republic Day (13/12/1974)

On this day, Malta revised its constitution to change its status from a monarchy to a  republic with a president as head of state. The first president was Sir Anthony Mamo, who had also been the first Maltese citizen appointed as Governor-General and the last person to hold this role before it was abolished.

Freedom Day (31/3/1979)

This national holiday marks the anniversary of the day when the last British troops stationed in Malta and the Royal Navy withdrew from the country, and the islands were no longer used as a military base of a foreign power.