April 2017

This Day in History… April 12, 1862

The Great Locomotive Chase

U.S. #2843 from the 1994 Locomotives issue.

On April 12, 1862, a group of Union sympathizers stole a Confederate train, leading to a daring eight-hour chase.

Railroads played a major role during the Civil War, transporting troops and keeping them supplied. Although both sides used railroads, the South was at a distinct disadvantage because it had less track and far fewer locomotives available.

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This Day in History… April 11, 1862

Birth of Charles Evans Hughes 

U.S. #1195 was issued on Hughes’ 100th birthday.

Statesman Charles Evans Hughes was born on April 11, 1862, in Glens Falls, New York.

Hughes attended Madison (now Colgate) University before transferring to Brown University, where he graduated third in his class. He then attended Columbia Law School, from which he graduated with highest honors in 1884.

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This Day in History… April 10, 1847

Birth of Joseph Pulitzer

U.S. #946 was issued on Pulitzer’s 100th birthday.

Publisher and politician József “Joseph” Pulitzer was born on April 10, 1847, in Makó, Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire.

Pulitzer’s father was a respected and successful businessman. In 1853 Pulitzer’s father moved the family to Pest and hired private tutors for the children. However, after his father died in 1858, the business went bankrupt. Pulitzer tried joining several European armies but ultimately decided to move to America.

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This Day in History… April 9, 1954

First Stamp Issued in Liberty Series 

U.S. #1041 was the first U.S. bi-colored definitive with a denomination less than $1.

On April 9, 1954, the USPS introduced a new set of stamps, the Liberty Series, with the issue of an 8¢ red, white, and blue Statue of Liberty stamp.

The Liberty Series was first announced in late 1953 as a replacement for the popular Presidential Series (also known as the Prexies), which had been in use for 15 years. The new series took its name from the first stamp to be issued, picturing the Statue of Liberty.

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This Day in History… April 8, 1888

Birth of Dennis Chávez 

U.S. #2186 from the Great Americans Series.

The first American-born Hispanic senator, Dionisio “Dennis” Chávez was born on April 8, 1888, in Los Chaves, New Mexico.

Chávez’s family had lived in Los Chaves for generations. In fact, he always prided himself in saying he was “American before Plymouth Rock,” because he had ancestors that lived in the New World on a Spanish land grant in the 17th century.

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This Day in History… April 7, 1948

Formation of the World Health Organization 

Item #UN43-44 – 1956 U.N. stamps honoring the WHO.

On April 7, 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) was officially created as a specialized agency of the United Nations.

The idea for this international health organization was first suggested by Dr. Szeming Sze, a Chinese delegate to the 1945 United Nations Conference. While Sze’s initial resolution failed, the conference’s secretary general Alger Hiss recommended they create a declaration to establish the organization. Sze and his supporters lobbied and succeeded in getting a declaration calling for an international conference on health.

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