This Day in History… August 3, 1927

Revolutionary War Sesquicentennial 

US #643 was issued in Bennington, Vermont, though the battle took place in Bennington, New York.

On August 3, 1927, the US Post Office issued two stamps honoring significant events from the Revolutionary War in 1777.

One of the stamps is the Vermont Sesquicentennial stamp.  The stamp honors the Battle of Bennington and pictures a Green Mountain Boy.  The other stamp honors the Saratoga Campaign and pictures the surrender of General Burgoyne.  It also honors the Battle of Bennington, with an inscription on the right-hand side.

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This Day in History… August 2, 1871

Birth of John Sloan 

US #1433 was issued on Sloan’s 100th birthday. It pictures The Wake of the Ferry.

Artist John French Sloan was born on August 2, 1871, in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.

Sloan grew in up Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he and his sisters were encouraged to draw and paint from an early age. While he was in high school, Sloan’s father suffered a mental breakdown and he chose to leave school to work full time to support his family.

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This Day in History… August 1, 1894

Playing Card Stamps 

US #RF1 – The first playing card stamp issued to meet the 1894 tax.

On August 1, 1894, a tax was imposed on playing cards as part of the Wilson Bill.

Certain luxury items, including Playing Cards, were first taxed in 1862.  The tax was levied to help fund the Union’s Civil War effort.  The tax rate structure was based on five different levels depending on the cost of the pack of cards.  No consideration was given to the number of cards in the deck, and opening the pack usually destroyed the revenue stamp.

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This Day in History… July 31, 1953

Death of Robert A. Taft 

US #1161 was issued seven years after Taft’s death.

Senator and son of America’s 27th president Robert A. Taft died on July 31, 1953, in New York City.

Taft was born on September 8, 1889, to future president William Howard Taft.  Taft spent four years of his youth in the Philippines where his father was serving as governor. He then graduated first in his class from the Taft School at Yale College before graduating from Harvard Law School in 1913.

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This Day in History… July 30, 1932

Opening of the 1932 Summer Olympics 

US #718 was in high demand and only issued for a short time.

On July 30, 1932, the Games of the X Olympiad opened in Los Angeles, California.

Los Angeles was the only city to submit a bid to host the 1932 Olympics, so they were selected by default in 1923.  The start of the Great Depression in 1929 led to many cost-saving measures.  Most of the facilities used during the games were existing structures, with the Swimming Stadium being the only new construction.

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Posted in July 2018, This Day in History | 6 Comments

This Day in History… July 29, 1836

Opening of the Arc de Triomphe

US #934 pictures a procession of troops in front of the arc during WWII.

On July 29, 1836, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile (Triumphal Arch of the Star) officially opened to the public.

Before the plans were made for the Arc de Triomphe, there was a proposal for a different structure in that location. Architect Charles Ribart wanted to build a three-level elephant-shaped building with a spiral staircase and furniture that folded into the walls.  However, the French government denied his request.

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Posted in July 2018, This Day in History | 5 Comments