March 2017

This Day in History… March 19, 1869

Pictorial Series Introduced 

U.S. #112 satisfied the local rate plus the rate for unsealed circulars.

On March 19, 1869, the first U.S. Pictorial stamps were issued.

By early 1868, the then-current U.S. definitive stamps had been in use for over six years and their printing plates were quite worn. Additionally, the Post Office’s contract with the National Bank Note Company was set to expire in February 1869. So they requested bids for the contract to print new stamps and suggested that “there should be variety in the sizes as well as the designs of the stamps.”

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This Day in History… March 18, 1766

Britain Repeals the Stamp Act 

U.S. #5064 was issued for the 250th anniversary of the repeal.

On March 18, 1766, British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act.

Britain first passed the Stamp Act on March 22, 1765, in an attempt to increase its revenues from the American colonies. This act placed a direct tax on the colonies for the first time. It forced colonists to buy a British tax stamp for every official document they obtained.

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This Day in History… March 17, 1804

Birth of Jim Bridger 

U.S. #2869c from the Legends of the West sheet.

Mountain man James Felix Bridger was born on March 17, 1804, in Richmond, Virginia.

Bridger’s family moved to St. Louis around 1812 but he was orphaned five years later at just 13 years old when both of his parents died. Bridger never received a formal education and couldn’t read or write so he was eventually apprenticed to a blacksmith.

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This Day in History… March 16, 1934

Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act 

U.S. #2092 was issued for the 50th anniversary of the act.

On March 16, 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, creating America’s popular Duck Stamps.

Overshooting and a severe drought led to a rapid decrease in migratory birds in the early 1900s. The loss of nesting grounds in the north, resting areas along the migratory path, and wintering places in the south all contributed to the decline in migratory bird population.

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This Day in History… March 15, 1767

Happy Birthday Andrew Jackson 

U.S. #73 is often referred to as “Black Jack” or “Big Head” for its unusually large portrait.

Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767, in the Waxhaws area near the border between North and South Carolina.

Jackson received a minimal education in a small “old field school.” When he was 13, Jackson joined the American Revolution as a courier along with his brother Robert. The brothers were captured by British troops and nearly starved to death while being held as prisoners of war. They contracted smallpox and were eventually released by their mother’s bargaining. Within a matter of months Jackson’s mother and brother died, leaving him an orphan at age 14. He bitterly resented the British for the rest of his life.

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This Day in History… March 14, 1903

Establishment of First U.S. Wildlife Refuge 

U.S. #3774 was issued on the refuge’s 100th anniversary.

On March 14, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed legislation creating Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, the first such protective area in America.

Just off the eastern coast of Florida lies a chain of barrier islands lined with mangrove trees. While the islands attract a wide array of shore birds, there was a small five-acre area that seemed to be a favorite for pelicans. By the mid 1800s, people in the area took note of the birds and began to hunt them for their feathers. These feathers were often uses to decorate women’s hats and were sold for very high prices.

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