This Day in History… October 1, 1885

U.S. #E1 – The trademark of the Special Delivery stamps was the running post office messenger, who was often referred to as the “running speedy boy.” He is one of the few postal figures who was modeled after a living person. During one session, the engraver was so engrossed in his work he didn’t realize the length of time the boy was forced to stand on one foot. Eventually, the boy became completely exhausted and collapsed to the floor.

Special Delivery Service Begins

On October 1, 1885, the Special Delivery service made its debut, and the U.S. Postal Department issued a 10¢ stamp to inaugurate its new service. Used in addition to the regular postage required, this stamp paid for an extra service – the immediate delivery of a letter within one mile of any other Special Delivery post office.

Assistant Postmaster General Frank Hatton first proposed the Special Delivery Service in 1883. At the time, the Postal Service delivered twice a day in major cities. Private companies were used for urgent business mail that couldn’t wait for those scheduled deliveries. Hatton believed the companies were cutting into the Postal Service’s profits. On March 3, 1885, Congress approved the Special Delivery Service Act.

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This Day in History… September 30, 1955

U.S. #3082 – Dean’s entire career consisted of three major films produced in just 17 months.

James Dean Dies in Car Crash

A rising star in Hollywood, James Dean’s death on September 30, 1955 was a shock to us all.

Dean was a rebel who took the nation by storm during the conservative 1950s. A New York Times article dismissed Dean as “an honor graduate of the black leather jacket and motorcycle school of acting and living it up.” Ironically, that’s exactly what appealed to his youthful following. Dean symbolized the frustration of teenagers everywhere.

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This Day in History… September 29, 1789

U.S. #1565-68 honors the Continental Army and other Revolutionary War troops – the precursors to our modern military.

U.S. Army Established

On September 29, 1789, Congress created the U.S. Army after multiple requests from President George Washington.

After the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army was largely disbanded, as the U.S. legislature believed that a standing army during peace time was dangerous and unnecessary. Some troops remained active to guard munitions and about 700 members of state militias were prepared to take on potential threats from Native Americans and the British.

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Posted in Sept. 2015, This Day in History | 14 Comments

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This Day in History is quickly becoming one of the most popular features on our website. Every day we share neat events from our past and link them to stamps. In the first few months that we've offered this free service, we've explored a variety of interesting topics. Some of the most popular have been the meeting of the Stamp Act Congress, the End of Pony Express Service, the sudden death of President Harding, and story of the Ground Zero flag following the 9/11 attacks on America.

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This Day in History… September 28, 1781

U.S. #703 honors the commanding generals at Yorktown: Washington, Rochambeau, and Degrasse.

Siege of Yorktown Begins

On September 28, 1781, American forces launched the last major land battle of the Revolutionary War – the Siege of Yorktown.

During the American Revolution, the ability to resupply armies, deploy troops, and transport munitions stored in towns along Virginia’s inland water routes was dependent on control of the Chesapeake Bay. The British campaign to secure this vital region ultimately led to the surrender of British General Cornwallis and an American victory in its war for independence.

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Posted in Sept. 2015, This Day in History | 8 Comments

This Day in History… September 27, 1821

U.S. #1157 – This stamp marks the start of Mexico’s war for independence in 1810, though Spain didn’t recognize it until the war’s end in 1821.

Mexico Gains Independence from Spain

After more than a decade of fighting and over 20,000 casualties, Mexico officially gained its independence from Spain on September 27, 1821.

Mexico had been under Spanish control since 1521 and rarely challenged it until the early 1800s with Napoleon’s occupation of Spain. It was then that Mexican priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla launched a revolt.

On the night of September 15-16, 1810, Hidalgo declared war on the colonial government in what has been named the Grito de Dolores, or Cry of Dolores. By morning, the revolutionary army sought independence and marched to Guanajuato, an important mining center controlled by the Spaniards and creoles (people of pure or mostly Spanish ancestry). The Spaniards and creoles locked themselves in the granary, but were captured on September 28. Most were killed or exiled.

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Posted in Sept. 2015, This Day in History | 13 Comments