This Day in History… January 29, 1940

Famous Americans Series Begins 

U.S. #859 was issued on this day in 1940.

On January 29, 1940, the US Post Office Department issued the first stamps in the Famous Americans Series.

In 1938, the Post Office Department announced plans for a series of stamps recognizing 10 famous Americans and invited the public to submit recommendations. The response was so great that it was decided to increase the number from 10 to 35. This required an unexpected level of organization by the Post Office Department for this series.

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This Day in History… January 28, 1999

First Cut-to-Shape U.S. Stamps 

U.S. #3274 would have been used on wedding reply cards.

On January 28, 1999, the USPS issued its first stamps to be cut in the shape of the image.

For most of its history, the USPS and its predecessor, the US Post Office Department, stuck to issuing conventionally shaped stamps – squares and rectangles. They made a major leap in 1997 when they issued their first triangle stamp, for the Pacific ’97 stamp show.

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This Day in History… January 27, 1850

Birth of Samuel Gompers 

U.S. #988 was issued on this day in 1950.

American labor union leader Samuel Gompers was born on January 27, 1850, in London, England.

Gompers went the Jewish Free School from the time he was six until just before his tenth birthday. His parents removed him from school so he could apprentice with a cigar maker to help provide money for the family. Gompers was able to continue his education through night school.

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This Day in History… January 26, 1973

First U.S. Love Stamp

U.S. #1475 was issued on this day in 1973.

On January 26, 1973, the USPS issued its first Love stamp.

In 1962, the Post Office issued its first Christmas stamp after numerous calls for a stamp honoring the holiday. After the Christmas stamps proved popular, they turned their attention to a new holiday in the 1970s.

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This Day in History… January 25, 1932

First U.S. Olympic Stamp 

U.S. #716 was issued on this day in 1932.

On January 25, 1932, the US Post Office Department issued its first stamp honoring the Olympic Games.

1932 marked the third time the Winter Olympic Games were held, and the first time the event was held in the US. The games were held in Lake Placid, a small town in upstate New York that was home to less than 3,000 year-round residents.

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This Day in History… January 24, 1862

Birth of Edith Wharton 

U.S. #1832 – Wharton was the second honoree in the Literary Arts series.

Edith Newbold Jones Wharton was born on January 24, 1862, in New York City, New York.

Wharton came from a wealthy family – it’s been said that the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” may have been in reference to her father’s family. After the Civil War, her family traveled Europe extensively, during which time she learned French, German, and Italian.

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