December 2017

This Day in History… December 7, 1907

First Christmas Seals 

U.S. #WX2 was issued on this day in 1907.

On December 7, 1907, the first Christmas Seals went on sale.

In the early 1900s, tuberculosis was a major health concern in many areas of the world. In 1904, Danish postal clerk Einar Holbøll conceived the idea of adding an extra stamp to holiday mail to raise money to help sick children with tuberculosis. The idea was approved and Denmark issued the world’s first Christmas Seal that year, picturing Danish Queen Louise of Hesse-Hassel. Continue reading

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This Day in History… December 6, 1947

Dedication of Everglades National Park 

U.S. #952 was issued the day before the park’s dedication.

On December 6, 1947, President Harry Truman presided over the dedication of Florida’s Everglades National Park.

Americans didn’t attempt to settle in the Florida Everglades until the late 1800s. Before that, the area had been home to the Seminole Indians that had fled there during the Seminole Wars.

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This Day in History… December 5, 1933

End of Prohibition 

U.S. #3184c from the Celebrate the Century Series.

On December 5, 1933 the 21st Amendment was ratified, ending prohibition after nearly 15 years.

On January 16, 1919, the eighteenth amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified. The final triumph of the temperance movement, whose followers believed alcohol caused immoral behavior and various social ills, it called for the prohibition of the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquor” in the United States.

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This Day in History… December 4, 1956

The Million Dollar Quartet’s Only Session

U.S. #2724 – Elvis was the biggest star at the time of the recording, having appeared on television and in his first movie.

Music history was made on December 4, 1956, when Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash met coincidentally at Sun Studios.

One of the greatest musical collaborations of all time happened purely by chance. That December day, Carl Perkins, who’d gained fame for “Blue Suede Shoes,” went to the Memphis studio with his brothers to record some new songs. Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records, had invited Jerry Lee Lewis (relatively unknown outside of Memphis at the time) to play piano for Perkins’ session.

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This Day in History… December 3, 1989

First U.S. Hologram Postal Stationary

U.S. #U617 – America’s first hologram envelope with a silk cachet.

On December 3, 1989, the USPS issued its first postal item to be produced with a hologram – a 25¢ stamped envelope picturing a space shuttle docking at a space station.

The USPS first began considering creating postage with holograms in December 1987.  The technology was still relatively new at that point, having just been created in the 1960s.  The USPS spent much of 1988 researching the possibility and meeting with leading hologram manufacturers.

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This Day in History… December 2, 1863

Statue of Freedom Completed 

U.S. #573 was the only bi-color stamp in the Series of 1922-25.

On December 2, 1862, the Statue of Freedom was placed atop the U.S. Capital to a 35-gun salute.

Construction on the U.S. Capitol Building began in 1793, when George Washington laid the cornerstone. The most famous part of the Capitol is the dome. The first one, erected in 1824, was made of wood covered with copper. Within 30 years, the building had expanded so much the dome was small in proportion. When congressmen saw sketches of a proposed cast-iron dome, they immediately appropriated the money for its construction.

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