March 2019

This Day in History… March 31, 1736

Bellevue Hospital

US #2210 was issued for the 250th anniversary of Bellevue’s founding.

On March 31, 1736, a six-bed almshouse (home for the poor) was founded in New York City with construction starting only a year earlier.  That almshouse would eventually become Bellevue Hospital, which is often cited as the oldest public hospital in the US.

By 1731, New York City had a population of over 8,000 people.  A number of these were described as “vagabonds and idle beggars.”  To help these people, work began in 1735 on the construction of a public workhouse and house of correction.

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This Day in History… March 30, 1867

U.S. Purchases Alaska

US #800 – pictures Denali (formerly Mount McKinley), the highest peak in North America.

On March 30, 1867, US Secretary of State William Seward purchased Alaska from Russia in what many at the time called “Seward’s Folly.”

The Russians first explored Alaska in the 1600s and first settled there in 1784.  In 1824 and 1825, Russia signed treaties with the United States and Great Britain recognizing proper boundaries in America.  The treaties gave these nations trading rights along Alaska’s extensive coastline.

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This Day in History… March 29, 1974

Discovery of the Terracotta Warriors

US #UN716-17 from the UN Offices in New York.

On March 29, 1974, the Terracotta Warriors were discovered.  The collection of over 8,000 life-sized figures is the largest pottery figurine group found in China.

The figures were created as part of the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China.  As a form of funerary art, they were buried with the emperor around 210-209 BCE and believed to protect him in the afterlife.

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This Day in History… March 28, 1483

Birth of Raphael

US #1507 pictures Raphael’s The Small Cowper Madonna. Click image to order.

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raphael, is believed to have been born on either March 28 or April 6, 1483, in Urbino, Duchy of Urbino.

Raphael was the son of Giovanni Santi, court painter to the Duke of Urbino.  As a child, Raphael spent a great deal of time in the court, which instilled in him excellent manners and social skills.

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This Day in History… March 27, 1884

Rise of Long-Distance Telephones

US #1683 was issued for the 100th anniversary of Bell’s first phone call on March 10, 1876. Click image to order.

On March 27, 1884, the first long-distance phone call between New York and Boston was made.

In March 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received the patent for his telephone and made his first phone call just three days later.  That June, he presented his invention at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia which gained the attention of the press, who in turn shared news of the telephone with the public. 

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This Day in History… March 26, 1862

Battle of Glorieta Pass

US #1191 was issued for the 50th anniversary of New Mexico statehood.  Click image to order.

On March 26, 1862, Confederate forces launched the Battle of Glorieta Pass, aimed at breaking Union control of the West along the base of the Rocky Mountains.

In the early months of 1862, a portion of the Confederate Army set its sights on the vast western territories.  Control of the Santa Fe Trail in Colorado Territory provided access to silver and gold mines and opened the way to California’s ports.  This would provide a supply line to the Confederacy since the Union blockade had closed Southern ports on the East Coast.

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