This Day in History… July 6, 1894

Bicycle Mail 

US #2266 – 1890s tandem bicycle.

On July 6, 1894, a San Francisco businessman operated a short-lived bicycle mail route in San Francisco, complete with his own stamps.

The economic panic of 1893 hurt businesses across the nation, the Pullman Palace Car Company among them.  As demand for their train cars declined, the company cut wages.  Workers then complained of the low wages and 16-hour workdays. When the company president, George Pullman, refused to speak to the employees, they launched a boycott on June 26, 1894, led by Eugene V. Debs of the American Railway Union (ARU).

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This Day in History… July 5, 1950

Battle of Osan 

US #3187e from the Celebrate the Century sheet.

On July 5, 1950, US forces had their first fight of the Korean War at the Battle of Osan.

On June 25, 1950, 75,000 North Korean soldiers poured across the 38th Parallel to begin their takeover of the South Korean peninsula.  Soviet tanks and heavy artillery supported them.  The South’s Republic of Korea (ROK) troops had no tanks or weapons to combat tank attacks.  Within days, they were pushed south and Seoul, the capital, fell to the northern forces.  ROK soldiers retreated or defected to the Northern army.

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This Day in History… July 4, 1957

First US Flag Stamp

US #1094 was issued on this day in 1957.

On July 4, 1957, the US Post Office issued its first stamp with the US flag as the central design.  It was also the first stamp printed by the Giori press, which allowed the design to be printed in its natural colors in one step.

Previously, the US flag had appeared as a part of the design of several stamps, such as the Eagle and Shield Pictorial, the Francis Scott Key stamp, and 1952 Lafayette issue.  In 1957, the US Post Office announced that it would issue a brand new stamp with the flag as the central design and appearing in its natural colors.

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This Day in History… July 3, 1848

Emancipation Day in the Virgin Islands 

US #802 pictures Charlotte Amalie Harbor on the island of St. Thomas.

On July 3, 1848, Governor Peter von Scholten abolished slavery in the Virgin Islands.

The Virgin Islands are part of the Lesser Antilles island chain and the Leeward Islands group in the Caribbean Sea, located just east of Puerto Rico.  They include more than 50 islands, but the largest are St. Thomas, St. John Island, and St. Croix.

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This Day in History… July 2, 1865

The Salvation Army 

US #1267 was issued on this day in 1965.

The Salvation Army was established as the East London Christian Mission on July 2, 1865.

The mission was created by Methodist minister William Booth and his wife Catherine.  William had been born into poverty and worked in missions since he was a teenager.  His wife, though from a more prosperous family, also felt for the poor and was a major advocate for female ministry.  In fact, her speaking engagements helped to support their family.

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This Day in History… July 1, 1845

Postmasters’ Provisionals  

US #9X1 – The first postmaster provisional created by Robert Morris.

On July 1, 1845, US Congress established uniform postal rates, giving rise to the creation of Postmaster Provisional stamps.

In 1840, Great Britain issued the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, and established uniform postage rates. Up until that time, there were many different postage rates in different jurisdictions, which made it difficult to determine the correct fees before mailing a letter, leaving the recipient responsible with paying for the letter’s delivery.

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