International History

1997 32¢ Conductors and Composers: George Szell, Conductor
June 7, 1897

Birth of George Szell

Conductor George Szell was born György Endre Szél on June 7, 1897, in Budapest, Hungary.  Szell conducted the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and is credited with transforming it into one of the world’s greatest orchestras.

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1983 20¢ Balloons
June 4, 1783

First Public Hot Air Balloon Demonstration 

On June 4, 1783, the Montgolfier brothers staged the first successful public hot air balloon demonstration, sparking interest and rapid advancements.

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1919 2¢ on 1¢ Shanghai Overprint - green
May 24, 1919

U.S. Issues Shanghai Stamps 

On May 24, 1919, the US issued stamps for use in Shanghai, China. The stamps were produced in limited quantities and only remained in use for a few years.

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1939 30¢ Winged Globe Transatlantic Airmail
May 20, 1939

Trans-Atlantic Airmail Service

On May 20, 1939, the US Post Office inaugurated its official trans-Atlantic airmail service to Europe. The new Yankee Clipper service flew from New York to France in 26 hours.

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2007 41¢ Settlement of Jamestown
May 14, 1607

Settlement of Jamestown

On May 14, 1607, America’s first permanent English settlement was established at Jamestown, Virginia. The settlers struggled for several years but eventually built Jamestown into a thriving and successful community.

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1963 15¢ 1st International Postal Conference
May 11, 1863

First International Postal Conference

On May 11, 1863, representatives from 15 nations met in Paris to discuss postal issues.  That first International Postal Conference would eventually lead to the creation of the Universal Postal Union.

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1881-82 6¢ Lincoln, brown red
May 7, 1861

Lincoln Made Honorary Citizen of San Marino

On May 7, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln accepted the “honor of citizenship” from San Marino. It was one of the earliest instances of US and San Marino relations, which wouldn’t be formally established for decades. 

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1994 29¢ Silent Screen Stars: Rudolph Valentino
May 6, 1895

Birth of Rudolph Valentino

Silent film star Rudolph Valentino was born Rodolfo Pietro Filiberto Raffaello Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguolla on May 6, 1895, in Castellaneta, Italy.  Idolized as the “Latin Lover” of the 1920s, Rudolph Valentino gained enormous fame for his passionate, romantic roles. 

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1968 Canada John McCrae
May 3, 1915

“In Flanders Fields”

On May 3, 1915, Canadian physician John McCrae penned the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” in honor of a fallen fellow soldier following the Second Battle of Ypres. The poem became a rallying cry among Allied nations to continue fighting and support the war effort.

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