June 2019

This Day in History… June 18, 1855

The Soo Locks

US #1069 was issued for the 100th anniversary of the Soo Locks. Click image to order.

On June 18, 1855, the first ship passed through the Soo Locks, which are also known as the St. Mary’s Falls Canal.

For many years, the people of Michigan suggested that the government build a canal and locks at Sault Ste. Marie.  The only water connection between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes was the St. Mary’s River, but a rapids on the river made passage impossible.  Ships were unable to navigate the 21-foot drop at St. Mary’s Rapids, where Lake Superior flows into the lower Great Lakes. Continue reading

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This Day in History… June 17, 1914

Birth of John Hersey

US #4249 from the 2008 American Journalists issue.

Journalist John Hersey was born on June 17, 1914, in Tientsin, China.

Hersey’s parents were working as Protestant missionaries for the YMCA when he was born.  He spent his first ten years in China, learning to speak Chinese before English.

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This Day in History… June 16, 1938

Jefferson Counterfeits

US #807 – The genuine 3¢ Jefferson stamp. Click image to order.

On June 16, 1938, the post office issued a 3¢ Jefferson stamp, which was convincingly counterfeited.

The 3¢ Jefferson stamp was the fifth issue in the popular Presidential Series, affectionately known as the “Prexies.”  The series was issued in response to public clamoring for a new Regular Issue series, as the current series had been in use for more than a decade.

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This Day in History… June 15, 1942

Start of V-Mail Service

US #2765e from the 1942: Turning the Tide sheet. Click image to order.

On June 15, 1942, the Post Office Department inaugurated its V-Mail service.

Prior to the war, ships and airplanes that operated on regularly scheduled routes transported mail intended for an overseas destination.  A friendly Europe saw to their safe and speedy delivery under the terms of the Universal Postal Union.

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This Day in History… June 14, 1884

Happy Birthday, John McCormack

US #2090 was issued for McCormack’s 100th birthday.

Irish tenor John McCormack was born on June 14, 1884, in Athlone, Ireland.

The fourth of eleven children, McCormack sang in his church choir as a child.  It was while singing in the choir at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Dublin that he was first discovered.

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This Day in History… June 13, 1974

First U.S. Diamond Stamps

US #1538-41 – America’s first diamond-shaped stamps.  Click image to order. 

On June 13, 1974, the US 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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