This Day in History… July 10, 1856

Birth of Nikola Tesla

US #2057 from the American Inventors series. (In 1891, he became an American citizen.)

Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856, in Smiljan, Austrian Empire (present-day Croatia).

The fourth of five children, Tesla discovered as he attended school that he had an eidetic memory – meaning he was able to retain more information and for longer than his fellow students.  This sometimes got young Tesla in trouble as his teachers thought him to be cheating.

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This Day in History… July 9, 1760

 Happy Birthday to Peter Francisco

US #1562 pictures Francisco carrying the 1,100-pound cannon at the Battle of Camden.

Pedro Francisco, also known as the “Virginia Giant,” the “Giant of the Revolution,” and the “Virginia Hercules,” was born on July 9, 1760, in Porto Judeu, Terceira, Portugal.

Francisco’s early life is filled with mystery and intrigue.  When he was five years old, he was found on the docks at City Point, Virginia, and taken to the Prince George County Poorhouse.  He didn’t speak English, but kept saying the name “Pedro Francisco,” leading the locals to call him Peter.  They soon realized he was speaking Portuguese and noticed that his clothes were of fine quality.  Once they were able to find a translator, they discovered his dramatic story…

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This Day in History… July 8, 1993

The World University Games

US #2748 was issued for the 1993 games in Buffalo.

On July 8, 1993, the first Summer World University Games to be hosted in the US opened in Buffalo, NY. 

The World University Games is also known as Universiade (a combination of University and Olympiad).  It’s the largest multi-sport event in the world after the Olympics. 

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This Day in History… July 7, 2000

World Stamp Expo 2000

US #3412 was the first US stamp that was round and had a hologram.

World Stamp Expo 2000 opened on July 7, 2000.  Several US postal firsts were issued during the show, including the first round, pentagonal, and holographic stamps.

Held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, the show ran from July 7 to 16, 2000.  A total of 26 postal administrations and 107 vendors participated in the show, which planners said promised “to be one of the most extensive and exciting events of the new millennium.”

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This Day in History… July 6, 1894

Bicycle Mail 

US #2266 – 1890s tandem bicycle.

On July 6, 1894, a San Francisco businessman operated a short-lived bicycle mail route in San Francisco, complete with his own stamps.

The economic panic of 1893 hurt businesses across the nation, the Pullman Palace Car Company among them.  As demand for their train cars declined, the company cut wages.  Workers then complained of the low wages and 16-hour workdays.  When the company president, George Pullman, refused to speak to the employees, they launched a boycott on June 26, 1894, led by Eugene V. Debs of the American Railway Union (ARU).

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This Day in History… July 5, 1950

Battle of Osan 

US #3187e from the Celebrate the Century sheet.

On July 5, 1950, US forces had their first fight of the Korean War at the Battle of Osan.

On June 25, 1950, 75,000 North Korean soldiers poured across the 38th Parallel to begin their takeover of the South Korean peninsula.  Soviet tanks and heavy artillery supported them.  The South’s Republic of Korea (ROK) troops had no tanks or weapons to combat tank attacks.  Within days, they were pushed south and Seoul, the capital, fell to the northern forces.  ROK soldiers retreated or defected to the Northern army.

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