May 2017

This Day in History… May 25, 1803

Happy Birthday Ralph Waldo Emerson 

U.S. #861 from the Famous American Authors series.

Author Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts.

The son of a Unitarian minister, Emerson began his formal education when he was nine. Then at 14, he went to Harvard College where he was made freshman messenger for the president. He also worked as a waiter and occasional teacher to help pay his way.

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This Day in History… May 24, 1919

U.S. Issues Shanghai Stamps 

U.S. #K1 – Only 105,003 were issued.

On May 24, 1919, the U.S. issued stamps for use in Shanghai, China.

U.S. merchants began trading with China after the Revolutionary War, with much of the business conducted in the port city of Shanghai. After the First Opium War and the signing of the Treaty of Nanking, America established formal diplomatic relations with China. Under this agreement, Americans were allowed to buy land and build hospitals and churches. U.S. settlements in China were much like home, with U.S. laws and amenities. The U.S. maintained its own courts, police and armed forces.

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This Day in History… May 23, 1788

South Carolina Admitted to the Union

U.S. #1407 features a background of pinewood and line drawings representing the economic and historic development of the state.

On May 23, 1788, South Carolina ratified the Constitution, making it America’s eighth state.

Before European settlement, more than 30 Indian tribes lived in the area that became South Carolina. The main tribes were the Catawba, Cherokee, and Yamasee. These Indians built semi-permanent log homes, and the majority raised crops.

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This Day in History… May 22, 1986

Opening of AMERIPEX ‘86 

U.S. #2145 was issued a year before the show.

America’s eighth International Philatelic Exhibition opened to the public on May 22, 1986, in Chicago, Illinois. It was also the first to be held in the Mid-West.

Plans for AMERIPEX began a decade earlier, shortly after INTERPHIL ’76 in Philadelphia. A group of seven Chicago collectors met up to start planning what they hoped would be the best international exhibition ever held in the United States.

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This Day in History… May 21, 1804

Lewis and Clark’s Journey Begins

U.S. #1063 was issued for the 150th anniversary of the expedition.

On May 21, 1804, Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery departed St. Charles on the Missouri River to begin their exploration of the American West.

In 1803, Robert Livingston and James Monroe struck “the greatest real estate deal in history” – the Louisiana Purchase. As representatives for President Thomas Jefferson, they purchased a 530-million-acre area for $15 million, or about 3¢ per acre.

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This Day in History… May 20, 1768

Happy Birthday Dolley Madison 

U.S. #1822 was issued on Dolley’s 212th birthday.

Our nation’s third First Lady was born Dolley Payne in Piedmont, North Carolina, on May 20, 1768.

Dolley’s family lived in Hanover County, Virginia, where her father was a planter. A bright and outspoken young girl, Dolley was greatly affected by the Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Declaration of Independence, and the suffering at Valley Forge. In 1783, Dolley’s father freed his slaves and moved his family to Philadelphia to give his children better educational opportunities and to be closer to the family’s Quaker roots.

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