June 2017

This Day in History… June 18, 1877

Birth of James Montgomery Flagg 

U.S. #3183i – Flagg’s most famous work.

Noted artist and illustrator James Montgomery Flagg was born on June 18, 1877, in Pelham Manor, New York.

Flagg was a skilled artist from a young age, with his illustrations appearing in national magazines when he was just 12 years old. By the time he was 14 his work appeared in Life magazine.

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This Day in History… June 17, 1898

Trans-Mississippi Stamps Issued

U.S. #292 is widely considered the most beautiful U.S. stamp.

On June 17, 1898, the prized Trans-Mississippi stamps were issued as part of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha, Nebraska. Because of this, they were sometimes called the Omahas.

By 1898, the western part of the United States was beginning to flourish. Thousands of wagon trains had passed over its mountains, deserts, and Great Plains; transcontinental railroads now linked the West to the East; and many new states had been added to the Union. To call attention to the development of the land west of the Mississippi River, an international exposition was held in Omaha, Nebraska.

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This Day in History… June 16, 1933

National Industrial Recovery Act 

U.S. #732 was issued to gain support for the NRA.

On June 16, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed legislation passing the National Industrial Recovery Act.

In the presidential election of 1932, Democratic nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt promised a “new deal” for the “forgotten man.” Reacting to the ineffectiveness of the Hoover administration in meeting people’s needs during the Great Depression, Americans overwhelmingly voted in favor of this promise.

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This Day in History… June 15, 1934

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

U.S. #749 from the National Parks issue.

On June 15, 1934, Franklin Roosevelt signed legislation establishing Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Native Americans were likely hunting in the Great Smoky Mountains as many as 14,000 years ago. Hernando de Soto and Juan Pardo were likely the first Europeans to visit the Smokies, in 1540 and 1567 respectively, passing through the French Broad River valley.

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This Day in History… June 14, 1900

Hawaii Becomes a U.S. Territory

U.S. #2080 was issued for the 25th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood.

On June 14, 1900, Hawaii became a U.S. territory and began using U.S. stamps for its mail.

American missionaries arrived in Hawaii in 1820. As the white population grew, it became apparent that postal provisions were a necessity. The first attempt at establishing postal regulations was made in the 1840s, with the Organic Act. This was a series of three laws, the second of which established postal rates for inter-island mail and mail to the U.S. These laws were never put into effect.

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This Day in History… June 13, 1974

First U.S. Diamond Stamps

U.S. #1538-41 – America’s first diamond-shaped stamps.

On June 13, 1974, the U.S. issued its first stamps in a diamond shape, honoring our Mineral Heritage.

The idea for the Mineral Heritage stamps came from rock enthusiast Lillian Scheffers Turner. She first discovered her love of minerals at a 1961 gem and mineral show where she saw “nature in the rough” and became “a rock hound.”

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