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, 1987

Bicentenary Statehood Series

US #2336 – Delaware ratified the Constitution on December 7, 1787.

On July 4, 1987, the USPS issued the first in a series of stamps honoring America’s first 13 states.  The series honored each state’s 200th anniversary of statehood as well as the bicentennial of the ratification of the Constitution. 

The first stamp in the series, honoring Delaware, was issued on July 4, 1987.  Prior to this issue, Delaware hadn’t been honored on very many stamps.  It was included in the State Flags and State Birds and Flowers se-tenants, and the 1938 stamp honoring the 300th anniversary of the landing of the Swedes and Finns near Wilmington. Continue reading

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This Day in History… July 3, 1863

Union Wins the Battle of Gettysburg 

US #1180 was created by the Post Office’s first nationwide contest to design a US postage stamp.

On July 3, 1863, Union forces turned the tide of the Civil War with their victory at the Battle of Gettysburg.

During the summer of 1863, General Robert E. Lee led his Army of Northern Virginia across the border of the Confederacy into Pennsylvania.  He hoped to relieve the war-torn citizens of Virginia and knew his men could get food and supplies from the fertile farmlands of the North.  Lee’s main objectives were to destroy the Union Army, reduce some of the pressure on Vicksburg caused by the Northern siege, and approach Harrisburg or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The general hoped victories on Union soil would convince Northern politicians to end the war with the Confederacy.

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This Day in History… July 2, 1862

The Morrill Act

US #1065 was issued for the 100th anniversary of the first state-level land-grant colleges that served as the model for the Morrill Act.

On July 2, 1862, the Morrill Act was signed into law, promoting a new direction for American education.

Born in Strafford, Vermont, Justin S. Morrill was a powerful US political leader.  He served Vermont as a congressman from 1855-67 and as a senator from 1867-98.  Morrill introduced the Morrill Tariff Act of 1861, and was key to the formation of the Republican Party and in passing the legislation that formed the Library of Congress.

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This Day in History… July 1, 1862

The Revenue Act of 1862

US #R1 – A 1¢ Express Revenue stamp.

On July 1, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Revenue Act of 1862 into law, to help fund the Civil War.

In 1861, the federal government faced a financial crisis.  By June of that year, eleven Southern states had seceded and the Civil War broke out.  In addition to the cost of funding a major conflict, the federal government also lost tariff revenue it had collected on goods imported by the South.

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