January 2020

This Day in History… January 23, 1737

Birth of Statesman John Hancock

U.S. #1691-94 was issued to commemorate Hancock’s signing of the Declaration of Independence.

US #1691-94 was issued to commemorate Hancock’s signing of the Declaration of Independence.

John Hancock was born on January 23, 1737, in Braintree, Massachusetts.

As a child, he was a casual acquaintance of John Adams.  After his father’s death in 1744, Hancock went to live with a wealthy aunt and uncle who exported rum, whale oil, and fish.

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This Day in History… January 22, 1963

The Élysée Treaty

Germany #1546 was issued for the 25th anniversary of the treaty.  Click the image to order.

On January 22, 1963, France and West Germany signed the Élysée Treaty, ending centuries of rivalries between the two nations.

Since the 16th century, France and Germany were often at odds with each other.  Through several wars and incidents, they were often in opposition to each other, creating a long-lasting rivalry that continued into World War II.

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This Day in History… January 21, 1968

Battle of Khe Sanh

US #1802 was issued on Veteran’s Day in 1979 to honor the brave soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War.

On January 21, 1968, one of the most controversial and highly publicized battles of the Vietnam War began at Khe Sanh Combat Base (KSCB) in South Vietnam.

The site of a former French fort, Khe Sanh Combat Base was built by Green Berets in 1964.  The Marines eventually expanded and took over Khe Sanh, while the Green Berets built a smaller camp halfway between the base and Laos at Lang Vei.

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This Day in History… January 20, 1960

American Credo Series

US #1139 was issued on this day in 1960 in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

On January 20, 1960, the US Post Office Department issued the first stamp in the American Credo Series.

The Post Office Department created the American Credo Series to “re-emphasize the ideals upon which America was founded and to honor those great Americans who wrote or uttered the credos.”  The stamps were designed to resemble colonial currency.  Also, symbols that relate to the statement are used in the designs, as well as a likeness of the author’s signature.  One hundred distinguished Americans chose the individual principles.

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This Day in History… January 19, 1918

Birth of John H. Johnson

US #4624 – Johnson was the 35th honoree in the Black Heritage Series.

Businessman and publisher John Harold Johnson was born on January 19, 1918 in Arkansas City, Arkansas. 

As a child, Johnson attended a segregated and overcrowded elementary school.  There was no high school for African Americans, but he enjoyed school so much, he repeated the eighth grade rather than end his education. 

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This Day in History… January 18, 1904

Happy Birthday, Cary Grant

US #3692 – Grant was the eighth honoree in the Legends of Hollywood Series. Click the image to order.

Actor Archibald Alexander Leach (aka Cary Grant) was born on January 18, 1904, in Horfield, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Although his speech and demeanor suggested something quite different, Grant came from a blue-collar working-class family.  Life was not always easy for the star.  When he was nine years old, he came home from school one day to find his mother gone.  Told she was visiting a seaside resort, the truth was that she was in a mental institution, and Cary would not see her again until his late 20s. 

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