With the Rio Olympics well under way, we can expect to see further stunning athletic achievement in terms of Citius – Altius – Fortius (Faster – Higher – Stronger) after the excitement of London 2012. Some Olympic champions become millionaires following their successes whilst most retire to relative obscurity. Some become household names for a generation or more whilst others enjoy fame for a few days and then, outside their own specialist sporting bubble, once again become anonymous. More than that, every generation seems to indulge in the arrogance of the present, proclaiming that their sporting heroes or heroines are the greatest ever, forgetting about the amazing achievements of athletes of previous eras. [Read more…]
Most collectors are well aware of first day covers, and indeed for some collectors they have greater appeal than mint or used stamps. Less collected, but not necessarily less collectable, are commemorative covers, produced for an event or anniversary rather than for the first day of issue of new stamps. Commemorative covers are produced by postal authorities, also by philatelic and other societies, event organisers, commercial firms, charities and other organisations. The article explores some of the many commemorative covers produced by the British Post Office and, later in the year, at those produced by stamp exhibition organisers and others. [Read more…]
The complete 5 page article is free to download as a PDF. [Read more…]
When on 6 May 1840 the world’s very first postage stamp was born, the authorities were much exercised by the possibility of fraud, either by cleaning off cancellations from previously used stamps, or by marrying up bits of used stamps that had escaped the canceller.
The first revenue stamps of 1765 were mostly used in what’s now the province of Quebec. They were in use only briefly to 1 May 1766. These first stamps were actually colourless British embossed revenue stamps with the word ‘AMERICA’ added to the design. All are very rare. In 1864 The Federal Government of Canada introduced the First Issue Bill stamps, featuring a central design with Queen Victoria, for use on promissory notes and other financial instruments. In 1865 this issue was replaced with a second attractive issue featuring Queen Victoria, followed in 1868 by the Third Bill issue featuring the Widow Queen. [Read more…]
A Forever stamp was issued by the US Postal Service on 4 August to mark the 225th anniversary of the US Coast Guard.
The US Postal Service is celebrating the 225th anniversary of the US Coast Guard
The Coast Guard’s origins lie in the signing of the Tariff Act by President George Washington on 4 August 1790. This act created the Revenue Cutter Service as it authorised the construction of ten vessels to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. It became the US Coast Guard in 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service was merged with the US Life-saving Service—a series of stations placed around the US coast that were manned by crews dedicated to saving those in peril on the sea. [Read more…]
The Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress to U.S. military personnel. There are three versions of the medal, one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force. Personnel of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy version.
The Medal of Honor was created in 1861, early in the American Civil War, to give recognition to men who distinguished themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity” in combat with an enemy of the United States. There have been 3,469 Medals of Honor awarded to the nation’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coast guardsmen since the decoration’s creation, with just less than half of them awarded for actions during the four years of the Civil War.
The earliest dated action for a Medal of Honor recipient, took place on February 13, 1861, when Bernard John Dowling Irwin successfully set out on a rescue mission with 14 men of the 1st Dragoons in response to the siege of Second Lieutenant George Nicholas Bascom and his 60 men. While the Medal of Honor did not exist during this event (the medal was not established until 1862), the actions of Irwin were remembered and he was awarded the Medal of Honor just prior to his retirement on January 21, 1894.
Explore this historical event through collectibles on the Stanley Gibbons Marketplace:
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medal_of_Honor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_J._D._Irwin