August 2017

This Day in History… August 25, 1836

Birth of Bret Harte 

U.S. #2196 from the Great Americans series.

Writer Francis Bret Harte was born on August 25, 1836, in Albany, New York.

The author was born Francis Brett Hart after his grandfather, Francis Brett. His father later added the “e” to the family name. His father was also one of the founders of the New York Stock Exchange.

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This Day in History… August 24, 2000

Start of the Distinguished Americans Series 

U.S. #3420 – The first stamp in the series.

On August 24, 2000, the USPS issued the first stamp in the Distinguished Americans series.

As early as 1940, the U.S. Post Office took to issuing sets of stamps honoring Americans from all walks of life that had an enduring impact on our nation. That first series was the Famous Americans. This was followed by the Prominent Americans, which were issued between 1965 and 1978.

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This Day in History… August 23, 1785

Birth of Oliver Perry 

U.S. #166 from the Bank Note series, printed by Continental.

Oliver Hazard was born on August 23, 1785, in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

Perry was a direct descendant of William Wallace, a leader during the Scottish Wars of Independence. He was also older brother to Matthew Perry, who later opened Japan to the West.

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This Day in History… August 22, 1893

Happy Birthday Dorothy Parker 

U.S. #2698 was issued on Parker’s 99th birthday.

Poet and writer Dorothy Parker (born Dorothy Rothschild) was born on August 22, 1893, in Long Branch, New Jersey.

Parker’s mother died when she was just four years old. She went on to have an unhappy, though privileged, childhood living with her father and stepmother. After her father’s death when she was 20, Parker earned money by playing piano at a dance school.

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This Day in History… August 21, 1862

Postage Currency

U.S. #PC1 – The first postage currency issue picturing Thomas Jefferson.

On August 21, 1862, Postage Currency was issued to make business transactions easier during the Civil War.

In 1861, the United States began printing paper notes to finance its Civil War operations. Since the backs of the notes were printed in green, they were commonly referred to as “greenbacks.” At first, the notes were redeemable in coins, but as the war raged on, they became merely promises of the U.S. government to pay. Since the notes had no metal money behind them as security, people began to hoard their gold and silver coins.

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This Day in History… August 21, 2017

First Solar Eclipse Over the U.S. in 38 Years 

U.S. #5211 – The 2017 Solar Eclipse stamp as issued.

Today, August 21, 2017, marks the first total solar eclipse of the sun to pass over the United States since 1979.

A total solar eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the sun, completely blocking its light for several minutes. As the moon continues its orbit, different areas of the Earth experience totality (full coverage of the sun) at different times. Some may only see a partial eclipse while others may not see an eclipse at all.

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