February 2020

This Day in History… February 29, 1796

Jay Treaty Resolves Issues Between US and UK

US #1046 from the Liberty Series.

On February 29, 1796, the Jay Treaty went into effect, resolving some lingering issues between America and Great Britain following the Revolutionary War.

While the Treaty of Paris helped end the Revolutionary War and settle some issues between the US and Great Britain, tensions still remained between the two nations.  The three main issues were the influx of British exports in the US (while American exports were blocked by Britain’s tariffs and trade restrictions), the British continued to occupy northern forts that they had agreed to abandon and the British capture of American sailors and ships bound for enemy ports.

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This Day in History… February 28, 1933

 First Female Cabinet Member 

US #1821 was issued on Perkins’ 100th birthday.

On February 28, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Frances Perkins as head of the Department of Labor, making her the first woman to serve on a presidential cabinet.

Born on April 10, 1880, in Boston, Massachusetts, Perkins attended Mount Holyoke College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and physics in 1902. She went on to earn a master’s in political science from Columbia in 1910.

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This Day in History… February 27, 1807

Happy Birthday Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

US #864 from the Famous Americans Series.

Acclaimed poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born on February 27, 1807, in Portland, Maine.

The second of eight children, Longfellow began attending school when he was just three years old.  He was then sent to a private school at age six, where he was known for being very studious and fond of reading.  He published his first poem, “The Battle of Lovell’s Pond,” in 1820. 

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This Day in History… February 26, 1869

Creation of the 15th Amendment 

US #1249 is one of the few American stamps without “US” or “USA” in the design.

On February 26, 1869, the US Senate passed the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, giving people of all races and colors the right to vote.  The Amendment would be ratified and become official US law a year later.

Following the issuance of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the passage of the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, Congress began to debate the rights of former slaves.  Those African Americans would now be counted as citizens in the South, which would increase Southern power in the population-based House of Representatives.  Northern Republicans hoped to decrease the South’s advantage by giving African Americans the right to vote.

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This Day in History… February 25, 1919

Narcotic Tax Stamps 

US #RJA9 – An early Narcotic stamp overprinted on a Documentary Stamp.

On February 25, 1919, a Narcotic Tax was officially instated.

The Revenue Act of 1918 made Narcotic stamps necessary.  The law was enacted during World War I to raise additional money to fund it.  A portion of the law was written to amend the Harrison Narcotic Law of 1914.

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This Day in History… February 24, 1836

Birth of Artist Winslow Homer

U.S. #1207 pictures Breezing Up (A Fair Wind).

US #1207 pictures Breezing Up (A Fair Wind).

Winslow Homer was born on February 24, 1836, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Homer’s mother was a talented watercolorist that began teaching him to paint at a young age.  Though Homer was an average student, he proved himself to be a talented artist early on.

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