This Day In History

Today, May 19th

Recent stories…

1990 25¢ Plastic Flag
May 18, 1990

First USPS ATM Stamp

On May 18, 1990, the USPS issued an experimental plastic stamp to test the popularity of selling stamps through Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). While the plastic stamp proved unpopular, especially with environmentalists, the ATM format proved to be a success.

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1965 11¢ International Telecommunication Union
May 17, 1865

The International Telecommunication Union

On May 17, 1865, the International Telegraph Union (ITU), which later became the International Telecommunication Union, was founded. The first international standards organization, it established basic principles for international telegraphy.  It later became an agency of the United Nations.

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2005 37¢ Legends of Hollywood: Henry Fonda
May 16, 1905

Happy Birthday Henry Fonda 

Henry Jaynes Fonda was born on May 16, 1905, in Grand Island, Nebraska.  Known for his roles in The Grapes of Wrath, 12 Angry Men, and On Golden Pond, among many others, Fonda was one of the most successful actors of his era.  He was named the sixth greatest male screen legend of the Classic Hollywood era.

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2006 39¢ Literary Art: Katherine Anne Porter
May 15, 1890

Birth of Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Anne Porter was born Callie Russell Porter on May 15, 1890, in Indian Creek, Texas. Porter was best known for her long short stories written in flawless prose, which have a texture and complexity usually found only in novels.

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More Literature stories…

2006 39¢ Literary Art: Katherine Anne Porter
May 15, 1890

Birth of Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Anne Porter was born Callie Russell Porter on May 15, 1890, in Indian Creek, Texas. Porter was best known for her long short stories written in flawless prose, which have a texture and complexity usually found only in novels.

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1955 3¢ Old Man of the Mountain
May 3, 2003

The Old Man of the Mountain

On May 3, 2003, the Old Man of the Mountain rock formation in New Hampshire collapsed.  It had been the official state emblem for decades, and continues to appear on license plates and other items.

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1982 20¢ Library of Congress
April 24, 1800

Library of Congress Founded

On April 24, 1800, President John Adams officially established the Library of Congress.  It’s America’s oldest federal cultural institution, and one of the largest libraries in the world, with more than 171 million items.

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2020 55¢ Voices of Harlem – Nella Larsen
April 13, 1891

Birth of Nella Larsen

Harlem Renaissance novelist Nellallitea “Nella” Walker Larsen was born on April 13, 1891, in Chicago, Illinois. Though her writing career was brief, Larsen produced some of the first groundbreaking works to focus on mixed race identity and the feeling of not belonging.

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More stories from May 19th…

1898 5¢ Grant Private Mailing Card
May 19, 1898

Private Mailing Card Act

On May 19, 1898, Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act. The act allowed private printers to produce their own postcards with the same postage rate as government-issued cards.

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 US #2177 from the Great Americans series.
May 19, 1883

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West 

On May 19, 1883, the first Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show opened in Omaha, Nebraska.

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 US #2047 – Hawthorne was the third honoree in the Literary Arts Series. Click image to order. 
May 19, 1864

Death of Nathaniel Hawthorne

American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, while on a trip with former president Franklin Pierce to the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

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