Christmas 2017 – The U.S. National Christmas Tree (1963)

The National Christmas Tree is a large evergreen tree located in the northeast quadrant of The Ellipse near the White House in Washington, D.C. Each year since 1923, the tree has been decorated as a Christmas tree. Every early December, the tree is traditionally lit by the President of the United States. Every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has made formal remarks during the tree … Continue reading Christmas 2017 – The U.S. National Christmas Tree (1963)

Christmas 2017 – Hungary’s Gingerbread Angel (2013)

Thailand might try to emulate Christmas by decorating its Western-styled shopping malls with festive lights, plastic trees, and stuffed Santa Clauses but it fails in the area of holiday treats. There were stacks of candy canes in the main grocery store back in October but none have been seen for at least a month. This week, I went on a self-imposed quest to find something resembling a … Continue reading Christmas 2017 – Hungary’s Gingerbread Angel (2013)

Christmas 2017 – Australia #669 (1977)

Australia Post itself admits that the iconic “Surfing Santa” stamp (Scott #669), released on October 31, 1977, might just be Australia’s most controversial stamp. The design is one of my favorites as I live on a tropical island where snowy images on stamps leave me, well, a bit cold. I see it as a sort of precursor to the wonderfully whimsical holiday issues released by … Continue reading Christmas 2017 – Australia #669 (1977)

Christmas 2017 – Canada #85-86 (1898)

Seasons Greetings from A Stamp A Day! It’s only five days until Christmas and, although I live in a predominately-Buddhist country where the day is not an official holiday, it’s still a festive time of the year and I do my best to feel that Christmas spirit. The teaching agency that I work for has its offices in a large shopping mall on the southern … Continue reading Christmas 2017 – Canada #85-86 (1898)

Encampment at Valley Forge

On December 19, 1777, the American Continental Army commanded by General George Washington began its winter encampment at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Valley Forge was located 18 miles (29 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia. The Continental Army spent the winter of 1777–1778 there during the American Revolutionary War. Starvation, disease, malnutrition, and exposure killed more than 2,500 American soldiers by the end of February 1778. George Washington had … Continue reading Encampment at Valley Forge

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria,  Archduke of Austria-Este, Austro-Hungarian and Royal Prince of Hungary and of Bohemia and, from 1896 until his death, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne was born on this day, December 18, in 1863. His assassination in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, precipitated Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war against Serbia which caused the Central Powers (including Germany and Austria-Hungary) and Serbia’s … Continue reading Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The Wright Brothers’ First Successful Flight at Kitty Hawk

The earliest years of aviation is an immensely popular subject in philately — not only as a thematic topic on stamps but also the associated postal history of those fledgling flights. As a child, I was initially more interested in ocean liners than airplanes but became fascinated with Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean around the time that the U.S. Postal Service issued a … Continue reading The Wright Brothers’ First Successful Flight at Kitty Hawk

Cross of Honour of the German Mother

On December 16, 1938, Adolf Hitler instituted the Cross of Honour of the German Mother Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter), referred to colloquially as the Mutterehrenkreuz (Mother’s Cross of Honour) or simply  Mutterkreuz (Mother’s Cross). This was a state decoration conferred by the government of the German Reich to honor a Reichsdeutsche German mother for exceptional merit to the German nation. Eligibility later extended to include Volksdeutsche (ethnic German) mothers from, for example, Austria and Sudetenland, that had earlier been incorporated into the German Reich. … Continue reading Cross of Honour of the German Mother