Teachers of America Issue

U.S. #1093 honors the 100th anniversary of the National Education Association.

On July 1, 1957, the Teachers of America stamp was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Education Association (NEA). The stamp was issued in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the site where the NEA was founded 100 years earlier.

Prior to the 1850s, public schools were still a relatively new concept, as most were privately run. But by the mid-1850s, public schools were starting to rival private academies in number. Schoolteachers had formed associations in 15 of the 31 states, but there was no national body to coordinate their interests.

U.S. #1093 FDC – NEA Plate Block First Day Cover.

A New York educator took the first steps toward building a national organization. Thomas W. Valentine, principal of a large public school in Brooklyn, had been active in organizing teachers on a state level. He was the president of the New York Teachers Association. Valentine issued “The Call” to build a national coalition. He wrote, “We cordially extend this invitation to all practical teachers in the North, the South, the East, and the West, who…believe the time has come when the teachers of the nation should gather into one great educational brotherhood.”

U.S. #1093 FDC –NEA Classic First Day Cover.

In response, 43 educators gathered in Philadelphia in the summer of 1857. The result was the birth of the National Teachers Association (NTA). Two women who attended the convention were made honorary members and allowed to sign the constitution. However, women were barred from joining until 1866.

In 1870, the NTA changed its name to the National Education Association. On the 150th anniversary of Valentine’s call, membership had grown to over 3.2 million.

Do you want to see more first day of issue posts like this one?  Let us know in the comments below.

Click here for more history from the NEA website.

Click here to see what else happened on This Day in History.

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    1. Oops! Happy belated anniversary (2nd) to Mystic’s “This day in history”. I got a little behind on my reading and missed the actual date. I won’t let it happen again. Oh by the way, thank you for what you do.

  1. Yes, as you keep adding more variety to your articles. Keep up the great work!
    Mary V

  2. Yes, as long as you empasize the history and importance of the stamp as the primary significance of the issue. In other words, keep the stamp and event the star and the FDC the representative of both!

  3. As a teacher of some 35 years duration with the Seattle School District, all I can say is: Bravo – and of course, Brava.

  4. Yes, please continue your first day of issue posts, especially when they honor teachers.
    Keep up the great work!

  5. Enjoy the historical efforts of combining several stamp issues into a single focus. If a First Day Issue can be combined with the story of related stamp issuesm than that would be the best.

  6. I find that my vote sometimes doesn’t stay locked in if I go back into the article and come back to look at the comments????

  7. Please continue “This Day in History”. While most of the information is readily available at any number of places, you put a different spin on it by including the part stamps played in the story. It’s fun to read and you almost always learn something new. It seems a little sad that stamp collectors are unaware of the Smithsonians “Arago” website (arago.si.edu) with almost every US stamp printed in pages of 40 stamps each. Just click on the stamp and get a short easy to read history. There’s also the (1847us.com) site with stamp info from 1847 to 1970. Tons of info on both sites inc. perf., watermark, type of press, etc., etc., etc. The Postal Museum is part of the Smithsonian and Arago is part of that so if you’re not using it you’re really missing out. Besides the stamps they also have many items related to the USPS online. If you’re in the D.C. area make a visit. They even have Owney the mascot dog stuffed and on display. BTW, these sites don’t have prices, they’re for info only. I collect stamps for their unique artwork and history, I don’t sell them and I don’t care what they’re worth, that’s Mystics job.

  8. THANK YOU!! Mr Thomas Daniel. I would have to say that your last sentenced summed all of the reasons I collect, and have been collecting stamps. It is the HISTORY and CULTURE that a stamp contains, when you hold it (tweezers) in your fingers, or place it on your hands. Remember the Soliloquy of a Postage Stamp: I am the worlds Greatest Traveler. I have journeyed from Pole to Pole…

  9. would like to see:
    1. all topics for a given date-be in printable format for collection.
    2. All topics for a certain date be on a single page-type of summary for each.
    3. SCOTT numbers for all stamps shown in the articles.

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