April 2017

This Day in History… April 6, 1999

U.S.P.S. Introduces Nature of America Series

U.S. #3293 – The first issue in the series honors the Sonoran Desert.

On April 6, 1999, the U.S.P.S. issued the first stamp sheet in its 12-year Nature of America series.

Before settling on Nature of America, the U.S.P.S. discussed issuing a set of four American desert stamps, based on the popularity of the 1981 Desert Plants stamps. Over time, the concept for the stamps evolved into a set of six stamp sheets depicting six ecosystems found in America. Continue reading

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This Day in History… April 5, 1908

Happy Birthday Bette Davis 

U.S. #4350 was issued for Davis’ 100th birthday.

Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born on April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Known as “Betty” from an early age, she attended a Spartan boarding school before moving with her family to New York City in 1921. It was around this time that she changed her name to “Bette” after Honoré de Balzac’s novel La Cousine Bette.

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This Day in History… April 4, 1949

Founding of NATO 

U.S. #1008 was issued on the third anniversary of the treaty’s signing.

On April 4, 1949, twelve countries signed the North Atlantic Treaty, forming the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The stability of world politics took a dramatic turn at the end of World War II. With the Soviet Union gaining control in Europe, military strength became a leading concern among non-Communist countries that feared they would be unable to defend against Soviet aggression.

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This Day in History… April 3, 1513

Ponce de Leon Claims Florida 

U.S. #4750-53 were issued on the 500th anniversary of León’s landing.

On April 3, 1513, Ponce de León landed on the Florida coast and claimed the area for Spain.

A decade earlier, Portuguese sailors are believed to have been the first Europeans to see and map the area that would become the southeastern United States. As early as 1511 rumors concerning undiscovered islands northwest of Hispaniola reached Spain, whose leaders were anxious to be the first to find them. Ponce de León was selected to have the honor, as a reward for his previous successes.

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This Day in History… April 2, 1792

Establishment of the U.S. Mint

U.S. #1577 shows an Indian head penny and a Morgan-type Silver Dollar.

On April 2, 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, also known as the Mint Act, which among other things, created the United States Mint.

In colonial America, settlers were expected to follow the rules set by the king of England. While a few charters allowed colonies to produce their own coins, most did not. Then in 1652, the people of the Massachusetts Bay Colony took a chance when England was without a king and established their own mint in Boston.   Though a new king later came to power, the Boston Mint struck all its coins for 30 years with a 1652 date, to lead the British to believe all those coins had been minted then.

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This Day in History… April 1, 1960

Boat Stamps Issued 

U.S. #RVB1 – The $1 stamp was used to reissue lost or destroyed cards.

On April 1, 1960, the U.S. issued two boat stamps for use on motorboat applications.

Two years earlier Congress passed the Federal Boating Act of 1958. This act permitted states to take on certain boat safety responsibilities that had previously been handled by the U.S. Coast Guard.

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