August 2017

This Day in History… August 14, 1935

Social Security Act of 1935

U.S. #2153 was issued on the 50th anniversary of the act.

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.

The Social Security Act was part of Roosevelt’s second New Deal. The initial purpose of the act was to provide income for the unemployed and retirees beginning on January 1, 1940.

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This Day in History… August 13, 1867

First U.S. Grilled Stamp 

U.S. #79 – As the first stamp, this has the A grill.

August 13, 1867, marks the earliest known use of the first stamp produced with a grill, U.S. #79.

Many early U.S. stamps didn’t have set issue dates, so for those, we go by the first known use, which for #79 was 150 years ago today!

In the 1860s, U.S. postal officials grew concerned that people were reusing stamps by washing the cancels off to use the same stamp twice. So Charles Steel, superintendent of stamp manufacture at the National Bank Note Company developed the grill process, for which he was granted a patent on October 22, 1867.

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This Day in History… August 12, 1983

First U.S. Express Mail Stamp 

U.S. #1909 picturing an eagle and the Moon.

On August 12, 1983, the USPS issued its first Express mail stamp, though the service, and those like it, had been available for several years.

Customers paid to have packages shipped quickly long before the post office offered express mail. American Express and Wells Fargo began as express companies that picked up shipments at a business or home and delivered them to the door of the receiver. A tax was paid for this service, and an Express stamp was applied as proof.

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This Day in History… August 11, 1956

Death of Jackson Pollock 

U.S. #3186h was based on a photo of Pollock from Life magazine.

Jackson Pollock died on August 11, 1956, in Springs, New York.

The artist known as “Jack the Dripper” was born Paul Jackson Pollock in Cody, Wyoming on January 28, 1912.

Raised in Arizona and California, Pollock grew up with a fondness and appreciation for Native American culture due to his frequent surveying trips with his father. In 1930, Pollock moved to New York City where he studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League.

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This Day in History… August 10, 1861

Battle of Wilson’s Creek

U.S. #1426 was issued for the 150th anniversary of Missouri’s statehood.

On August 10, 1861, the first major battle in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the Civil War was fought in Missouri.

Missouri was a border state that declared its neutrality early in the Civil War. Governor Claiborne F. Jackson, who was in favor of secession, called the state militia to drill near St. Louis. Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon of the Union’s Army of the West realized the governor had plans to storm the Federal arsenal in St. Louis, so he surrounded the militia. The militia surrendered and was marched through the streets of St. Louis. The crowd that gathered quickly turned violent, and the Union troops fired on them.

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This Day in History… August 9, 1854

Thoreau Publishes Walden 

U.S. #1327 was issued for Thoreau’s 150th birthday.

On August 9, 1854, transcendentalist writer Henry David Thoreau published his most famous work – Walden.

Thoreau spent most of his life in Concord, Massachusetts, west of Boston. He attended Harvard, taught for two weeks, and worked at his father’s pencil factory.

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