This Day in History… May 30, 1911

Indianapolis 500

US #4530 was issued for the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500.

On May 30, 1911, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway held its first 200-lap, 500-mile race, dubbed the Indianapolis (or Indy) 500.

One of Indiana’s biggest attractions is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, initially built for automotive research and to test new car models. After breaking ground in March 1909, it was completed in August of the same year. The first weekend of racing took place that same month, but immediately encountered tragedy – several crashes resulted in five deaths. To fix the problem, the entire track was resurfaced with 3.2 million bricks, with the last one made of gold. This earned the racetrack the nickname the “Brickyard.”

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This Day in History… May 29, 1936

Opening of the California Pacific Exposition

US #773 was issued on the expo’s opening day.

On May 29, 1936, the California Pacific Exposition opened in San Diego. Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Coronado’s discovery of the Pacific Southwest, it was also intended to help boost the economy during the Depression.

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This Day in History… May 28, 2016

World Stamp Show 2016

US #5062-63 were issued on opening day.

On May 28, 2016, the doors opened on America’s 11th International Stamp Exhibition, World Stamp Show 2016.

From 1913 to 1956, New York City was home to America’s first five international stamp exhibitions. In 1966, Washington, DC, became the first city other than New York to host the exhibition, and after that, other cities would get their chance to host it. But after 60 years, the show returned to New York City in 2016.

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This Day in History… May 27, 2006

Washington 2006

US #4075 was printed using the original dies of the 1923 stamps it pictures.

On May 27, 2006, the tenth US International Philatelic Exhibition opened at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Officially named Washington Philatelic Exhibition Inc., its most often referred to as Washington 2006.

The show included 640 exhibits from 60 countries. The “Best in Show” award went to Edward Grabowski for his exhibit on Guadeloupe Postal History. The grand prix award for best in show from the host country (America) went to William H. Gross for his US Classics: 1847 thru 1869 and their classic Re-Issues.

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This Day in History… May 26, 1886

Birth of Al Jolson

US #2849 from the 1994 Popular Singers issue.

Asa “Al” Jolson said he didn’t know when he was born, but later in life claimed his birth date was May 26, 1886.

Born in Yoelson in Srednike, Lithuania, Jolson and his family moved to Washington, DC, in 1894 as his father wanted to provide a better life for his children. After his mother’s death in 1895, Jolson was heartbroken and withdrawn for several months. But that same year, he and his brother discovered show business and were immediately drawn to it.

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This Day in History… May 25, 1967

Canada Centenary Issue

US #1324 was the first US stamp with First Day ceremonies outside of the US.

On May 25, 1967, the Canada Centennial stamp was issued in Montreal – the first time a US stamp had a First Day ceremony in another country.

The stamp, designed by Ivan Chermayeff, was first made available at the United States Pavilion at Expo ’67 in Montreal Canada. The First Day Covers created there were the first US covers with a first-day cancellation from another country.   The stamps were then made available at US post offices the following day.

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