Thursday, October 31, 2013


  The Four Chaplains, also sometimes referred to as the "Immortal Chaplains," were four United States Army chaplains who gave their lives to save other civilian and military personnel during the sinking of the troop ship USAT Dorchester on February 3, 1943, during World War II. They helped other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out. The chaplains joined arms, said prayers, and sang hymns as they went down with the ship.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

1943-1944 OVERRUN COUNTRIES SCOTT #909-921

  The World War II Axis powers consisted of Germany, Italy, and Japan. During the war, these countries conquered large territories. The Axis powers had long prepared for war, developing devastating military technologies. Although many armies bravely opposed the Axis, the enemy strength and strategies were too much. The Overun Countries Series honors the 13 countries occupied by the Axis.
  Interesting fact---on the left side of each stamp is a phoenix, the great bird of fire from Greek mythology, representing eternal re-birth. On the right side of the stamps is a female, breaking the bonds of oppression.

Monday, October 28, 2013


  To help the state out, the Post Office printed this 80 cent stamp. Hawaii was greatly dependent on imports, and this new stamp allowed tourist to mail orchids back to the mainland, creating a big export business. This was a big boost to an economy that was greatly dependent on imports.
  Little known fact----Andorra and Greenland are the only countries in the world that have supplied free postage to their citizens. Free delivery is still available on all domestic mail in Andorra.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


  On July 20,1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to stand on the moon. As Armstrong stepped out of  the Apollo II lunar module, the Eagle, he spoke the famous words,"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin then stepped out of the space craft and became the second man on the moon.
  Interesting fact---the First Man on the Moon stamp was the first ever jumbo-sized American commemorative.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


  This story begins with the issue of the 1933 Newburgh Peace commemorative, Scott #727 U.S. Postmaster General James A. Farley removed a bunch of first run sheets of #727 from the printing presses before they were gummed or perforated, and autographed them. He gave these stamps to President Franklin Roosevelt, Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, the President's secretary Louis Howe, various Post Office Department officials, and each of his children. Farley continued this practice with other new stamp issues.
  These ungummed and imperforate stamps were not available to the public. Farley was creating precious philatelic rarities and distributing them to his bosses, friends, and relatives. Needless to say, the philatelic community was outraged.
  Interesting fact---the Post Office came up with a solution. They re-issued the sheets that Farley created in large enough quantities to satisfy the public demands.
  Below is a few of the stamps involved in "Farley's Follies".

Friday, October 25, 2013


Casimir Pulaski Day is a holiday reserved in Illinois on the first Monday of every March in memory of Casimir Pulaski (March 6, 1745 – October 11, 1779), a Revolutionary War cavalry officer born in Poland as Kazimierz Pułaski. He is known for his contributions to the U.S. military in the American Revolution by training its soldiers and cavalry.
The day is celebrated mainly in areas that have large Polish populations, such as Chicago. The focus of official commemorations of Casimir Pulaski Day in Chicago is at the Polish Museum of America where various city and state officials congregate to pay tribute to Chicago's Polish Community.
This is a separate holiday from the federal observance, General Pulaski Memorial Day, which commemorates Pulaski's death from wounds suffered at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779.
Illinois enacted a law on September 13, 1977, to celebrate the birthday of Casimir Pulaski and held the first official Pulaski Day celebrations in 1978. The bill was introduced by State Senator Norbert A. Kosinski, a Democrat from Chicago, and signed by Thomas Hynes, President of the Senate on June 26, 1977. Chicago Public Schools, Cook County government offices, the Chicago Public Library, Springfield Public Schools, and state-wide public and private schools are closed on this holiday.
Wisconsin public schools are also to observe Casimir Pulaski Day.
Section 118.02 of the Wisconsin Statutes provides that, "...when school is held or, if the day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, on a school day immediately preceding or following the respective day, the day shall be appropriately observed...." The use of "shall" denotes this as a mandatory requirement. Each public school in Wisconsin must observe Casimir Pulaski Day on March 4. How the day is observed — "appropriately" — allows for some discretion among the schools.
Buffalo, New York also acknowledges a "Pulaski Day," which is held in the middle of July, and is celebrated with an annual parade.
On November 6, 2009, President Barack Obama signed a joint resolution of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives making Pulaski an honorary American citizen, 230 years after his death.
Grand Rapids, Michigan hosts a "Pulaski Days" celebration annually on the first full weekend of October in recognition of General Pulaski and the Polish culture in general.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


  Post Office hold-ups were common in Kansas and Nebraska in the 1920's. Robbers stole stamps and took them to other states to sell. In 1929, overprinted stamps were experimented with in hopes of making it more difficult for stolen stamps to be sold.
  Kansas and Nebraska overprints are among the most favorite stamps for collectors to save, both printed in 11 stamp sets.
  Interesting fact---the overprints were often refused as valid postage by unaware postal workers, and once the existing supply was used, the trial program was stopped.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


  This special issue of postage stamps was produced by overprinting the 2 cent and 5 cent stamps of the 1922-23 series with "Hawaii" across the top of the stamps and "1778-1928" across the bottom of the stamps.
  Interesting fact--they were released in Hawaiian Post Offices in connection with a gala celebration honoring the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


 On the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth in 1909, a 2 cent commemorative went on sale. Based on a statue in Chicago by Augustus St. Gaudens, the stamp was issued both perforate and imperforate, as well as on experimental blue tint paper.
  Interesting fact---1909 was also the first year of the Lincoln cent.

Monday, October 21, 2013


  In 1909, Seattle, Washington held an Alaskan-Yukon Exposition to celebrate the development of this far northern territory. A commemorative was issued in perforate and imperforate form to publicize both the Territory and the Exposition.William Seward negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.  Interesting fact--The original design for this stamp was a seal on an ice floe. Afraid potential visitors would think Alaska was always icy cold, the Exposition Committee opted for a portrait of William Seward.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


  1930 The Naked Raja by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. Two sets of stamps depicting Goya's work were privately produced in 1930, and later approved by the Spanish Postal Authority.
  Interesting fact---also in 1930 the U.S. Government barred and returned any mail bearing the stamp. This was the first stamp that showed a nude.



Liberty Bell 2008.jpg

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall), the bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack (today the Whitechapel Bell Foundry) in 1752, and was cast with the lettering (part of Leviticus 25:10) "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." It originally cracked when first rung after arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell .
    Interesting fact----- In its early years, the Liberty Bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


  These beautiful bi-color stamps honor the first Norwegian settlers in the United States. On October 9th, 1825, the first Norwegian immigrants arrived in New York on the Sloop Restaurationen. The stamps show the ship the immigrants came over on and Leif Ericsons ship.
  Interesting fact--Leif Ericson and his men visited North America around 492 years before Columbus.

Friday, October 18, 2013


A commemorative honoring the 150th anniversary of the Battle of White Plains was issued in 1926 in a 100 stamp sheet. Later that year, a special 25 stamp sheet with a commemorative inscription in the sheet margin was issued with the same design for the International Philatelic Exhibition. This sheet became the first U.S. souvenir sheet that the Post Office produced.
  Interesting fact--only 107,398 souvenir sheets were printed over 85 years ago, so today they are very rare.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

1918-20 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN $2.00 & $5.00 SCOTT #523-524, 547

  In 1918 the U.S. Post Office printed 2 Benjamin Franklin stamps, a $2.00 orange red and black, and a $5.00 deep green and black. In 1920 they reprinted the $2.00 stamp in carmine and black.
  Interesting fact--the 1918 $2.00 orange red and black was mistakenly printed those colors but the reprinted stamp in 1920 was printed with the intended colors of carmine and black. Collectors did not know that the #523 was an error until the #547 was later printed.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


  A 1909 celebration remembered two different Hudson River events: in 1609 Henry Hudson discovered the river in his sailing ship, the Half Moon; and in 1807, Robert Fulton proved that his steamship, the Clermont, did indeed work. The Clermont became the first successful navigation with a steam powered ship. The first stamp has perforations the second stamp is not perforated.
 Interesting fact--these stamps picture both the Hudson and the Fulton ships, although the two existed 200 years apart.(Artistic License).

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


  Jamestown is considered the first permanent English settlement in the New World. The three stamp set commemorates Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, and the landing of the Pilgrims.
  Interesting fact--
Although the life of Chief Powhatan's young daughter, Pocahontas, would be largely tied to the English after legend credits her with saving John Smith's life after his capture by Opechancanough, her contacts with Smith himself were minimal. However, records indicate that she became something of an emissary to the colonists at Jamestown Island. During their first winter, following an almost complete destruction of their fort by a fire in January 1608, Pocahontas brought food and clothing to the colonists. She later negotiated with Smith for the release of Virginia Indians who had been captured by the colonists during a raid to gain English weaponry.

Monday, October 14, 2013


  The Louisiana Purchase, obtained from France in 1803 for $15 million, almost doubled the size of the United States, and encouraged westward expansion. It was commemorated in 1904 with this series.
  Interesting fact--these stamps were not well received by the public. Collectors at the time did not purchase large quantities of the stamps, and the series was on sale for only 7 months. As a result, well centered unused stamps are extremely difficult to obtain.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


  The Trans-Mississippi stamps of 1898 were produced in conjunction with 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, whose purpose was to further the progress and development of natural resources west of the Mississippi River.
  All the stamps are based on original paintings, photos, and drawings by such renowned artists as Fredrick Remington and J.A. MacWhirter.
  Interesting fact--all the stamps were supposed to be a two color issue, The Spanish-American War broke out in April of 1898 and the time and man power needed for 2-color printing was not available because the Bureau was too busy printing overprinted stamps for our new acquisitions from the war.
  See the complete set of the Trans-Mississippi stamps below.