This Day in History… August 9, 2001

American Treasures Series 

US #3524-27 features the designs of quilts created in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

On August 9, 2001, the USPS inaugurated the American Treasures series with the issue of four stamps depicting Amish quilts.

In announcing the new stamp series, the USPS stated, “US postage stamps honor significant people, major events, and lasting achievements.  Yet sometimes, people just want beautiful stamps.”

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This Day in History… August 8, 2008

Opening of the 2008 Summer Olympics

US #4334 was issued in June 2008 to commemorate the Beijing Olympics.

The Games of the XXIX Olympiad opened in Beijing, China, on August 8, 2008.

A total of five cities vied to host the 2008 Olympics.  Beijing was selected as the host city at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee on July 13, 2001.

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This Day in History… August 7, 1904

Birth of Ralph Bunche 

US #1860 from the Great Americans series.

Ralph Johnson Bunche was born on August 7, 1904, in Detroit, Michigan.

In his youth, Bunche and his family moved around a bit, spending time in Toledo, Ohio; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Los Angeles, California.  He was a bright student, a member of the debate team, and the valedictorian of his high school class.

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This Day in History… August 6, 1965

Voting Rights Act of 1965

US #3937b features a photo of young protesters at the Selma March.

On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.

The 15th and 19th Amendments to the United States Constitution granted black citizens the right to vote.  However, Southern registration boards used poll taxes, literacy tests, and other strategies to deny this right.

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This Day in History… August 5, 1914

First Electric Traffic Light

US #1272 was issued to publicize the importance of traffic safety.

On August 5, 1914, the first electric traffic light was installed in Cleveland, Ohio.

London was home to some of the first non-electric gas-lit traffic lights.  They were installed in December 1868 outside the Houses of Parliament.  The lights were created because an overflow of horse-drawn traffic forced large numbers of pedestrians to walk in front of the Houses of Parliament.

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This Day in History… August 4, 1821

The Saturday Evening Post 

US #2839 – Rockwell’s Triple Self-Portrait appeared on the February 1, 1960, cover.

On August 4, 1821, The Saturday Evening Post published its first issue.

According to the Post’s official history, it has a neat connection to Benjamin Franklin!  In 1728, Franklin had the idea to create The Pennsylvania Gazette magazine. However, before he had a chance to begin work on the paper, his partner, Samuel Keimer, stole the name and idea. Luckily for Franklin, the paper failed within a year, and he and Hugh Meredith took over production in 1729.

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