January 2017

This Day in History… January 19, 1809

Birth of Renowned Writer Edgar Allan Poe

U.S. #986 – “The Gold-Bug” was Poe’s most financially-successful work during his life.

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Poe’s work, featuring dark themes of death and violence, is a reflection of his tormented and tragic life.  His father abandoned the family when Edgar was only a year old.  His mother, actress Elizabeth Arnold Poe, died when he was only two.  Eerily, the Richmond Theater, where she gave her last performance, burned to the ground a few days later, killing 72 people.
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This Day in History… January 18, 1782

Birth of Daniel Webster 

U.S. #226 from the last issue printed by the American Bank Note Company for 50 years.

Daniel Webster was born in Salisbury (now Franklin), New Hampshire on January 18, 1782.

Webster grew up on his parents’ farm before attending Dartmouth College. After graduating, he was apprenticed to a lawyer before working as a teacher to help his brother. He eventually returned to his apprenticeship before moving to Boston where he was admitted to the bar.

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This Day in History… January 17, 1706

Happy Birthday Benjamin Franklin 

U.S. #1 features a Franklin portrait that had previously been used on banknotes.

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Franklin was the son of a soap and candle maker. As a youth, Franklin learned these trades, but found them unsatisfactory. So he became an apprentice to his brother Richard, a printer, at the age of 12. It was in this apprenticeship that Franklin started what he considered his primary, lifelong occupation – printing.

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This Day in History… January 16, 1883

Passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Act 

U.S. #2053 was issued for the 100th anniversary of the act.

On January 16, 1883, President Chester A. Arthur signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, making major changes to American Civil Service System.

When a new U.S. President began his term in the early 1800s, one of his first duties was to dismiss thousands of Federal employees and replace them with members of his own party. The “spoils system” was part of the privilege of the position, and recipients of the jobs were expected to contribute to the President and party’s campaign.

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This Day in History… January 15, 1892

Naismith Publishes Rules of Basketball 

U.S. #1189 was issued on Naismith’s 100th birthday.

On January 15, 1892, Dr. James Naismith published the rules for a sport he’d invented – basketball.

Naismith was born on November 6, 1861, in Almonte, Ontario, Canada. He was an athletic person, playing Canadian football, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, and gymnastics for McGill University on Montreal. Naismith earned his degree in Physical Education and became McGill’s first director of athletics.

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This Day in History… January 14, 1973

Elvis’ Legendary Aloha from Hawaii 

U.S. #5009 includes a crown, honoring Elvis’ role as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

On January 14, 1973, Elvis performed the first live worldwide broadcast concert – Aloha from Hawaii.

In November 1972, Elvis announced his plan to perform a benefit concert in Honolulu. There were no ticket prices, but fans were asked to donate as much as they could to the Kui Lee Cancer fund to get a ticket. Lee was a Hawaiian songwriter who wrote “I’ll Remember You,” which Elvis recorded in 1966. To show their support of the cause, Elvis and RCA records each donated $1,000.

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