Tuesday, April 1, 2014

1960's American First Day Covers - Education on an Envelope!

 During the 1950's and 60's I was raised in a household where collecting stamps was something my parents did, through having international friends who did exchange, as well as the free First Day Covers my MD father got through Ayerst Labs, a pharmaceutical company. In any case, I learned a lot about the culture of the US of A, through what the US Postal Service issued. I learned to anticipate the new issues and notice the designs, and colors.  My parents subscribed to Linn's Weekly Stamp News and my dad purchased the new stamps at the Post Office in Faribault and also exchanged the US and United Nations Stamps with people all over the world.  I am so grateful to have been raised by parents who had a far reaching vision and who supported my education beyond just having a "career" Notes below each First Day Cover
The microscope and stethoscope here in colors, to learn about cancer.  Ironic that both of my parents developed significant cancers.   Dad, died at the young age of 71, with colon cancer with metastases to his liver.   I sense inhaling the smoke from his beloved pipe, added risk to his developing cancer.  He began smoking his pipe (often a symbol of learned intellectuals in the 20th century) during his years at Antioch college.   My mom's Memoir describes Pete's love of his pipe in 2 sections

1) Medical Family History p148 "Paul H. WEAVER m. Margaret M. Glessner, 1935
irregular heart beat, angina pectoris & high blood pressure, age 67; pipe smoker for 50 years;
drank wine and scotch; colon cancer, age 71; d. age 71 +1 mo."

2) p104 "Not long after we had moved to Pelican, Pete noticed that he had an irregular heart beat, arrhythmia, which didn't seem to present any acute problem until the evening of August 10, 1978, when he had angina and I drove to Nisswa to pick up a prescription of nitroglycerin. The following day he had an EKG (electrocardiogram), on August 19 going to the hospital for five days of heart monitoring, where he was attached to an apparatus that recorded his heart beats. Again in 1980, he was in the hospital for heart monitoring, this time for ten days. I found staying alone in the woods with no neighbors a bit scary. When I was asked out to supper, I hesitated to accept, a bit fearful of coming home to an empty house. Of course I hoped it would be empty! It was! That year, besides his heart problem, a siege of pseudogout gave him a swollen, painful knee causing him to use a cane. Then a painful deer fly bite on his ankle again put him on a cane and finally on crutches. Pete's health was not doing well.
Because of his heart problem, reluctantly he gave up smoking his pipe, which he had enjoyed since he began at Antioch College. I decided it would be a good time for me to give up my cigarette-smoking, which I had started in college some forty-six years before. We empathized and encouraged each other. I had my last cigarette on August 27, 1978! 'T wasn't easy giving up my nervous habit,    discovering that I quickly gained predicted weight with the substitution of munching for smoking."

Peg also was self disclosing about her cancers and health, p148  "Margaret M. GLESSNER low blood pressure; cancer of uterus,age 49 - no chemo- or X-ray-therapy after surgery; brisk walk & stretching exercizes after age 71; cancer of head of pancreas, age 74 - no chemo-or X-ray therapy after surgery; cataract surgery, age 76 & 78;cigarette smoker for 48 years (1/2-1 pack a day); drank wine and scotch until 1986, now a glass of wine before dinner;
And lessons in history, Patrick Henry from Virginia, "Give me Liberty or give me death"

Here in 1962, my grandmother Inez Chase Glessner, hand addressed this cover to me for the 1962 -50 Year anniversary of Arizona Statehood.  Many winters my grandparents stayed in and around Phoenix...
This first day cover, I remember being a surprise issue.   With the orbital flight of the first American, John Glenn in 1962. I remember the excitement of knowing a guy from the US had orbited around the earth as a teen of 15 years......
John Muir is a well known natural history advocate who lived in California and advocated for protection of natural sites.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir

In 1965 is the 5 cent commemorating the Sokol movement in the US of A.   The discus thrower, as an art form.


1965 commemoration of the Magna Carta singed in Britain.   750th Anniversary to look at the written history of human rights...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta

1966 with Ladybird Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon Banes Johnson, encouraged planting beautiful trees and gardens with this issue.    The cherry blossoms on the reflection pond of the Jefferson Monument in Washington DC are featured. 
"The cherry blossom tree is truly a sight to behold, especially when it is in full riotous bloom. There are several varieties of the cherry blossom tree, and while most of them produce flowering branches full of small pinkish-hued flowers, some of them produce actual cherries.
In Japan, the cherry blossom is more than just a beautiful flowering tree. There are thousands upon thousands of cherry blossom trees in Japan, and each year the Japanese people closely anticipate and follow the blossoming of the trees. When the trees are in bloom, people come in large groups with their families and friends to view the flowers and to enjoy festivals with food, drink, and music.
The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In their country, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It's a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short."
1968 First Day Cover of Walt Disney, native of Marceline Missouri...."Its a small world after all"

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