March 2019

This Day in History… March 19, 1869

Pictorial Series Introduced 

US #112 satisfied the local rate plus the rate for unsealed circulars.  Click image to order.

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

By early 1868, the then-current US 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.  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, 1855

Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge

US #961 was issued to honor the 100th anniversary of the completion of the temporary bridge in 1848. It pictures the completed double-decker bridge.

On March 18, 1855, the Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge officially opened.

The bridge was the brainchild of Canadian entrepreneur and politician William Hamilton Merritt.  In the summer of 1844, he and his wife were picnicking on the shores of the Niagara River, while reading a letter from their sons, who were touring Europe at the time.  In the letter, their sons marveled at the Freiburg Suspension Bridge in Switzerland.

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This Day in History… March 17, 1995

American Culture Series

US #2908 was issued on this date in 1995. Click image to order.

On March 17, 1995, the USPS issued the first stamps in the American Culture Series.

The stamps in this series were issued in part to meet a new postal rate structure that had been implemented on January 1, 1995.  These new rates included a variety of bulk mail discounts, which these stamps were used for.

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This Day in History… March 16, 1934

Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act 

US #2092 was issued for the 50th anniversary of the act.  Click the image to order.

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

Overhunting 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 the migratory bird population.

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This Day in History… March 15, 1938

Merchant Marines

US #939 was issued to honor the Merchant Marine’s role in WWII. Click image to order.

On March 15, 1938, the Merchant Marine Cadet Corps was established.  Merchant Marines transport cargo and passengers in peacetime and are called upon in times of war to deliver troops and supplies wherever needed.

America’s Merchant Marines traces its roots to the colonial era and first entered combat during the Revolutionary War.  On June 12, 1775, a group of citizens who had learned about the fighting at Lexington and Concord captured the British schooner HMS Margaretta.  The British refused to surrender, and instead gave the Americans an ultimatum – either load the ships with lumber to build British barracks in Boston or starve (the British had much-needed supplies on other ships).  The citizens instead chose to fight.

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This Day in History… March 14, 1997

Experimental Linerless Coil Stamps

US #3132 paid the first-class, presort letter rate. Click image to order.

On March 14, 1997, the USPS issued two linerless coil stamps on a small scale to test the potentially money-saving format.

Throughout the 1990s, self-adhesive stamps grew in popularity for their convenience.  So the USPS began looking for ways to produce the stamps more efficiently.

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