Wednesday, March 18, 2020

First Fractional Denomination Stamp

The first fractional cent stamp in US History featured President Warren G. Harding. He was chosen for this stamp made necessary by third-class postage rate changes by the Postal Service Act of February 28, 1925. This raised the rate from one cent to one and a half cents per ounce. The stamp was designed by Clair Aubrey Huston, and the vignette was engraved by Frederic Pauling. This was vignette was also used in 1923 on a 2-cent stamp. It was issued on March 19, 1925, in Washington, DC. It was used primarily in circulars and was needed in large quantities as quickly as possible. It was issued in sheet form from a rotary press as well as in flat plates. Since the rotary press was faster, it became the method of choice. It printed out 6,000,000 per day vs. the 1,600,000 per day of the flat plate press.

Warren G. Harding was born on November 2, 1865, in Corsica, Ohio. He became a teacher and then went on to read law and sell insurance before becoming a journalist. He was fired for supporting a Republican candidate for president but went on to buy a bankrupt newspaper for $300 called The Marion Star. He married Florence DeWolfe, the daughter of a prominent banker and nicknamed her Dutchess in 1891. They ended up having a successful newspaper. Florence helped Warren become successful in politics and he became a Republican state senator in 1898. In 1903 he became lieutenant governor but lost the governor’s election 7 years later. Warren became a US Senator in 1914. In the largest presidential popular vote landslide since 1824, Warren Harding became the 29th US President.

President Harding established a peace agreement with Germany and Austria that ended WWI. He also arranged the Washington Naval Conference. He also started the first child welfare program.

There were a lot of scandals during his presidency that did not appear until after his death. He also had a fifteen-year extramarital affair with Carrie Fulton Phillips but ended in 1920.

President Harding died in 1923 from a heart attack in 1923.

Teaching Activities:
1.     Make a poster or scrapbook page  of Warren G. Harding during his Presidency.
2.     Draw a picture of the one and half cent stamp.
3.     Research The Marion Star and share five interesting things about it.
4.     Make a class newspaper.
5.     Who became president after President Harding died? What was the procedure for him becoming president.
6.     Research the rotary press and write a report or make a scrapbook page about it.
7.     Research the flat plate press and write a report or make a scrapbook page about it.

Original photo by Pat Hensley 

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