Columbian Issue

The Columbian Issue known as the Columbians, is a set of 16 postage stamps issued by the United States to commemorate the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago during 1893. The finely-engraved stamps were the first commemorative stamps issued by the United States, depicting various events during the career of Christopher Columbus and are presently much valued by collectors; the Columbian stamps were supplied by the American Banknote Company, which had a four-year contract for the production of United States postage stamps beginning December 1, 1889. However, where previous contracts had required printing companies to provide designs and plates at their own expense for any new stamps required by the Post Office, the 1889 contract specified that the Post Office would pay those costs. Indeed, Postmaster John Wanamaker executed a new contract with American Banknote for the Columbian stamps without any competitive bidding process, which allowed the company to charge 17¢ per thousand stamps, in contrast to the 7.45¢ per thousand it had been collecting for stamps of the 1890 definitive series.

This arrangement prompted considerable public criticism—- not allayed by American Banknote's argument that the Columbians’ size warranted a higher price—- and Wilson Bissel, who became Postmaster General after Grover Cleveland reassumed the Presidency during March 1893, attempted to renegotiate the stamp contract on terms more favorable to the Post Office. Fifteen denominations of the series were placed on sale by post offices on Monday, January 2, 1893, they were available nationwide, were not restricted to the Exposition in any way. This was a larger number of stamps than the United States Post Office had offered in a definite series, thanks to the unprecedented inclusion of stamps denominated $1, $2, $3, $4 and $5: no U. S. postage stamp issued had cost more than 90¢. A sixteenth stamp—- 8 cents, to provide for the newly lowered registered letter fee—- was added during March; as a result, the face value of the complete set was $16.34, a substantial sum of money during 1893. In approximate 2009 dollars, the set would cost $390.

As a result, of the most expensive stamps the dollar values, only a small number were sold. Unsold stamps were destroyed after the Columbian Issue was removed from sale on April 12, 1894. In all, the American Banknote Company printed more than 2 billion Columbian stamps with a total face value exceeding $40 million. Opinion regarding the Columbian Issue at the time was mixed; the set sold well and did not have the sort of criticism that resulted in the withdrawal of the 1869 Pictorial Issue. However, approval was not universal. An organization known as the Society for the Suppression of Speculative Stamps was created in protest of the creation of this set, deeming the Exposition in Chicago insufficiently important to be honored by postage, while some collectors balked at the Post Office Department's willingness to profit from the growing hobby of philately. Ridiculing the $5 stamp, the Chicago Tribune stated that it could be used for only one purpose: mailing a 62½-pound package of books at the book rate.

The Columbians did not increase in value after being removed from sale, due to substantial speculation resulting in a glut of stamps on the secondary market. However, as of 2006, depending on condition, a full set might be valued at $100,000 or more, it was not only in design and commemorative purpose that this issue proved a watershed in U. S. stamp history. The Columbians, like all previous U. S. stamps, had been produced by private security printers on limited-term contracts periodically presented for bidding. They proved, however. For during early 1894, the American Bank Note Company failed to secure a renewal of its stamp contract because the U. S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing submitted a lower bid. Not until 1944 would a private company again produce U. S. stamps and the Bureau subsequently resumed its exclusive role in production, only relinquishing it over the next sixty years. Scholars believe that the Bureau's first task during 1894 was to finish some Columbian sheets printed by American Banknote.

Entitled "Columbus in Sight of Land", this lowest value in the set was based on a painting by William Henry Powell and was one of several to be engraved by Alfred Jones. This stamp was used to pay postage on third-class mail; because the images in the series were not based on the works of a single artist, Columbus's appearance changes between this stamp, where he is clean-shaven, the 2-cent value, where he sports a full beard, despite the depicted events occurring only a day apart. John Vanderlyn's painting The Landing of Columbus commissioned by Congress, used on $5 banknotes and the 15-cent stamp from the 1869 Pictorial Issue, was again pressed into service. By a substantial margin, this is the most common stamp of the Columbian Issue. More than a billion copies were printed, more than 70 percent of the total number of Columbian Issue stamps, in part beca

1878 in Belgium

The following lists events that happened during 1878 in the Kingdom of Belgium. Monarch: Leopold II Prime Minister: Jules Malou. 11-18 June – Partial legislative elections of 1878 19 June – Walthère Frère-Orban replaces Jules Malou as Prime Minister 22-25 August – Twenty-fifth wedding anniversary celebrations of King Leopold II and Queen Marie-Henriette, including a parade of 23,000 school children on 23 August. 13 November – Jules Guillery succeeds as Charles Rogier as Speaker of the Chamber of Representatives PeriodicalsAlmanach de Poche de Bruxelles Annuaire de l'Observatoire royal de Bruxelles, 46 Annuaire du Conservatoire Royal de Musique de Bruxelles, 2 Bulletin de la Société belge de géographie, 2 Bulletins de l'Académie royale des sciences, des lettres et des beaux-arts de Belgique, 47. Le Moniteur Belge. Revue de l'horticulture belge et étrangère Revue du notariat belge, 4 BooksHendrik Conscience, De Schat van Felix Roobeek BuildingsGreat Synagogue of Brussels completedPaintingsFélicien Rops, Pornocrates 18 January – Henri Baels, politician 5 March – Gaston Salmon, fencer 16 March – Émile Cammaerts, author 29 March – Jules Pire, resistance leader 14 April – August Borms, quisling 23 June – Gustave Strauven, architect 1 July – Joseph Maréchal, Jesuit 5 July – Jean de Bosschère, writer and painter 6 July – Charles Terlinden, historian 13 September – Oscar Joliet, bishop 20 November – Joseph-Marie Canivez, Trappist 18 January – Frans de Cort, writer 9 July – Barthélemy Charles Joseph Dumortier and politician 7 August – Joseph Gustave Ernest Allard, politician 16 November – Charles Vilain XIIII, politician

Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors

The Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors were two groups of mythological rulers or deities in ancient northern China. The Three Sovereigns is before The Five Emperors, The Five Emperors in history have been assigned dates in a period from circa 2852 BC to 2070 BC. Today they may be considered culture heroes; the dates of these mythological figures may be fictitious, but according to some accounts and reconstructions, they preceded the Xia Dynasty. The Three Sovereigns, sometimes known as the Three August Ones, were said to be god-kings, demigods or god emperors who used their abilities to improve the lives of their people and impart to them essential skills and knowledge; the Five Emperors are portrayed as exemplary sages who possessed great moral character and lived to a great age and ruled over a period of great peace. The Three Sovereigns are ascribed various identities in different Chinese historical texts; these kings are said to have helped introduce the use of fire, taught people how to build houses and invented farming.

The Yellow Emperor's wife is credited with the invention of silk culture. The discovery of medicine, the invention of the calendar and Chinese script are credited to the kings. After their era, Yu the Great founded the Xia Dynasty. According to a modern theory with roots in the late 19th century, the Yellow Emperor is the ancestor of the Huaxia people; the Mausoleum of the Yellow Emperor was established in Shaanxi Province to commemorate the ancestry legend. The Chinese word for emperor, huángdì, derives from this, as the first user of this title Qin Shi Huang considered his reunion of all of the lands of the former Kingdom of Zhou to be greater than the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors. A related concept appears in the legend of the Four shi; the four members are Youchao-shi, Suiren-shi, Fuxi-shi, Shennong-shi. The list sometimes extends to one more member being Nüwa-shi. Four of these five names appear in different lists of the Three Sovereigns. Shi is the meaning of clan or tribe in china, so none of them are a single person in prehistoric times.

There is a saying that the Three Sovereigns are Youchao-shi, Shennong-shi. The Suiren taught people to drill wood for fire so people could migrate; the Youchao taught people to build houses with wood, so that people could leave caves to expand into the plains. After the number of people grew, Shennong tried a variety of grasses to find suitable cereals to solve people's food problems; the tribes used the sovereigns' respective contributions as the name of the tribes. Depending on the source, there are many variations of who classifies as the Three Sovereigns or the Five Emperors. There are at least six to seven known variations. Many of the sources listed below were written in much periods and millennia after the supposed existence of these figures, instead of historical fact, they may reflect a desire in time periods to create a fictitious ancestry traceable to ancient culture heroes; the Emperors were asserted as ancestors of the Xia and Zhou dynasties. The following appear in different groupings of the Three Sovereigns: Fuxi, Nüwa, Suiren, Gong Gong, Heavenly Sovereign, Earthly Sovereign, Tai Sovereign, Human Sovereign, the Yellow Emperor.

The following appear in different groupings of the Five Emperors: Yellow Emperor, Emperor Ku, Emperor Yao, Emperor Shun, Shaohao and Yan Emperor. List of Neolithic cultures of China Dawenkou culture Liangzhu culture Majiayao culture Qujialing culture Longshan culture Baodun culture Shijiahe culture Emperor of China. Translated by Allen, Herbert J. "Ssŭma Ch'ien's Historical Records, Introductory Chapter". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 26: 269–295. 1894. Doi:10.1017/S0035869X00143916. "The Annals of the Bamboo Books: The reigns of Huang-te, Chuen-heuh and Hëen-Yuen. The Chinese Classics, volume 3, part 1. Translated by Legge, James. 1865. Pp. 108–116