This Day in History… May 18, 1977

International Museum Day

US #3910a from the Modern American Architecture sheet.

On May 18, 1977, the first International Museum Day was celebrated around the world.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) founded International Museum Day in 1946.  The organization was created to promote the educational role of museums and the international circulation of cultural items.

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This Day in History… May 17, 2010

Butterfly Series

US #4462 – 2010 64¢ Monarch.

On May 17, 2010, the USPS issued the first stamp in the Butterfly Series.

In late 2009, the USPS unveiled the first butterfly stamp for greeting card envelopes that required additional postage (an extra 20¢) than the standard one-ounce rate covered.  This would apply to envelopes that couldn’t be sorted on the USPS’s automated equipment, otherwise known as “nonmachinable.”

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This Day in History… May 16, 1919

First Transatlantic Flight 

Marshall Islands #666a pictures the NC-4 that completed this journey.  Click image to order.

On May 16, 1919, Albert Cushing Read departed Newfoundland, beginning the first transatlantic flight.

As early as 1910, aviators hoped to be the first to fly across the Atlantic.  Then in 1913, British newspaper publisher Lord Northcliffe issued a challenge – 10,000 pounds to the first person to fly across the Atlantic in 72 hours.  Around the world, aviators scrambled to be the first.  In the US, Glenn Curtiss was among the hopefuls.

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This Day in History… May 15, 1993

Garden Flower Series

US #2760-64 – Spring Garden Flowers.

On May 15, 1993, the USPS issued the first installment in the Garden Flower Series, which would honor flowers that bloom in each of the four seasons.

This series was borne out of the 1992 Wildflowers issue.  Initially, that project had begun when the USPS asked an artist to produce color sketches of a group of garden flowers.  Instead, the artist gave the USPS illustrations of wildflowers.  The USPS liked them so much, they decided to create a 50-stamp pane, showing wildflowers that can be found in each state.

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This Day in History… May 14, 1935

First International Sky Train

Cuba #C17 – Imperforate stamp issued for this flight. Click image to order.

On May 14, 1935, US and Cuban pilots flew the first international airmail sky train.

A sky train (also called an air train) consists of a motor airplane pulling two glider planes in tow that don’t have motors.  The phrase is a reference to the railroads, in which a locomotive would haul two wagons.

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This Day in History… May 13, 1862

Robert Smalls Steals Confederate Ship

US #683 was issued for the 250th anniversary of the establishment of Charleston. Click image to order.

On May 13, 1862, Robert Smalls, a slave aboard the CSS Planter, stole the Confederate ship and turned it over to Union forces.

Robert Smalls was born into slavery on April 5, 1839, in Beaufort, South Carolina.  When he was 12 he was sent to Charleston to work as a laborer for $1 a week.  While we worked a variety of jobs there, he discovered a love of the sea and was able to find work on the docks and wharves in Charleston.

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