It’s not often that Americans can get a close-up personal look into the life of a dictator…but on a humid day in Dayton, Nevada, many tour groups during the season have the opportunity to set foot on Molossian soil. T
heir passports are investigated at the border control desk, before being stamped and dated with a special stamp: ‘REPUBLIC OF MOLOSSIA. PASSPORT CONTROL’.
Molossia is no where near an ordinary country: it is a micronation of 33 citizens (including a few dogs). There is also a cat on that lives in the little country, yet according to the President of the nation, he’s a ‘constant source of irritation’ and is not to be trusted…
The micronation is celebrating its 40th anniversary under the leadership of its charismatic president, His Excellency Kevin Baugh – the man delineated by his wife as a ‘benevolent dictator’ also helps leads tours.
The close to two-hour expedition will take you past ‘The Tower of the Winds’, a memorial that includes ornamental items and red lava gravel ‘dedicated to the wind and the desert and as a symbol of our nation,’
Molossia’s large website explains. There’s also the ‘Red Square’ – home to a post office, trading company and bar and grill – and also a place called ‘Norton Park’, which is a ‘tranquil garden where Molossians can relax and enjoy life.’
This ‘nation’ has it all…
Molossia has its own currency, rules and identity – despite its geographical location in Nevada in the US.
The micronation was the brainchild of Baugh and his high school friend James Spielman, who in 1977 created their own country called the Grand Republic of Vuldstein after they watched the classic film The Mouse That Roared.
Spielman was proclaimed King and Baugh the Prime Minister of a kingdom – then in Portland, Oregon – and the pair drafted land charters and gave themselves power to make laws in which to govern themselves.
As they got older, Spielman moved on with his life, but Baugh was hooked – renaming the nation the Republic of Molossia and declaring himself the President. Now, 40 years later in the new location of Dayton County, Nevada, his Excellency loves the power that comes with owning his own country.
‘I love being dictator; it is fantastic but it is also intentional. When I remodelled Molossia, I chose to be a dictator,’ says Baugh, 54.
A micronation is a tiny self-declared sovereign country that is not officially recognized by the legitimate governments of the world. All across the globe, these small countries have populations ranging from 3 to 4000 to even over 25,000 as their inhabitants come together and establish their own governing rules.
The territory of Molossia also has five acres in both Northern and Southern California, but most of its transactions occur on the country’s home territory of the 1.3 acres in Nevada. Baugh has enlisted a few people to join him – most of his family. All of the Molossian citizens include his wife, the seven children they have between them, two grandchildren and other relatives…Oh yes, and of course, the animals.
This guy really must have committed to the role he’s playing…
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