This Day in History

This Day in History… March 4, 1789

Constitution Takes Effect 

US #2360 was issued for the 200th anniversary of the Constitution.

On March 4, 1789, the US Congress met for the first time under the terms of the recently ratified US Constitution.

In the spring of 1787, delegates from 12 of the 13 states (Rhode Island didn’t participate, as they opposed a national government) met at Independence Hall in Philadelphia to amend the Articles of Confederation. The Constitutional Convention opened on May 4.

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This Day in History… March 3, 1863

Newspaper & Periodical Stamps 

US #PR1 has the date of the Act of Congress on the bottom – March 3, 1863.

On March 3, 1863, an Act of Congress granted postal agents the ability to accept newspapers bundles, which would lead to the first US Newspaper and Periodical stamps two years later.

In the early days of the US Post Office, there was a rate of 1¢ per ounce on printed circular matter, making it expensive to mail newspapers and periodicals on a large scale. As a result, publishers turned to private express companies to deliver their printed material. But the Post Office wanted to get a share of the lucrative business.

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This Day in History… March 2, 1829

Birth of Carl Schurz 

US #1847 was issued in Watertown, Wisconsin.

Carl Christian Schurz was born on March 2, 1829, in Liblar, Prussia, Germany (present-day Erftstadt).

The son of a journalist and a schoolteacher, Schurz studied at the Jesuit Gymnasium of Cologne but had to leave early because of his family’s financial problems. He later finished school and went on to attend the University of Bonn.

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This Day in History… March 1, 1961

Creation of the Peace Corps 

US #3188f from the Celebrate the Century: 1960s sheet.

On March 1, 1961, the Peace Corps was established.

Long before Kennedy was president, he endorsed the idea of sending volunteers to other countries to give technical assistance and promote peace. As a congressman in 1951, he supported a plan to send college graduates to the Middle East to give “technical advice and assistance to the underprivileged.”

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This Day in History… February 28, 1933

First Female Cabinet Member 

US #1821 was issued on Perkins’ 100th birthday.

On February 28, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Frances Perkins as head of the Department of Labor, making her the first woman to serve on a presidential cabinet.

Born on April 10, 1880, in Boston, Massachusetts, Perkins attended Mount Holyoke College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and physics in 1902. She went on to earn a master’s in political science from Columbia in 1910.

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This Day in History… February 27, 1897

Birth of Marian Anderson 

US #3896 – Anderson was the 28th honoree in the Black Heritage Series.

Marian Anderson was born on February 27, 1897, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The oldest of three children, Anderson had a talent for singing from an early age. When she was six, her aunt noticed this talent and encouraged her to join the church’s junior choir. Her aunt also took her to see concerts in the city and arranged for Marian to sing at local functions. Later in life, Anderson acknowledged her aunt’s significant role in establishing her music career.

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