Postage stamps and postal history of the United States

The history of postal service of the United States began with the delivery of stampless letters, whose cost was borne by the receiving person also encompassed pre-paid letters carried by private mail carriers and provisional post offices, culminated in a system of universal prepayment that required all letters to bear nationally issued adhesive postage stamps. In the earliest days, ship captains arriving in port with stampless mail would advertise in the local newspaper names of those having mail and for them to come collect and pay for it, if not paid for by the sender. Postal delivery in the United States was a matter of haphazard local organization until after the Revolutionary War, when a national postal system was established. Stampless letters, paid for by the receiver, private postal systems, were phased out after the introduction of adhesive postage stamps, first issued by the U. S. government post office July 1, 1847, in the denominations of five and ten cents, with the use of stamps made mandatory in 1855.

The issue and use of adhesive postage stamps continued during the 19th century for first class mail. Each of these stamps bore the face or bust of an American president or another important statesman. However, once the Post Office realized during the 1890s that it could increase revenues by selling stamps as "collectibles," it began issuing commemorative stamps, first in connection with important national expositions for the anniversaries of significant American historical events. Continued technological innovation subsequently prompted the introduction of special stamps, such as those for use with airmail, zeppelin mail, registered mail, certified mail, so on. Postage due stamps were issued for some time and were pasted by the post office to letters having insufficient postage with the postage due to be paid to the postal carrier at the receiving address. Today, stamps issued by the post office are self-adhesive, no longer require that the stamps be "licked" to activate the glue on their back.

In many cases, post office clerks now use Postal Value Indicators, which are computer labels, instead of stamps. Where for a century-and-a-half or so, stamps were invariably denominated with their values the United States post office now sells non-denominated "forever" stamps for use on first-class and international mail; these stamps are still valid if there is a rate increase. However, for other uses, adhesive stamps with denomination indicators sold. Postal services began in the first half of the 17th century serving the first American colonies. In the American colonies, informal independently run postal routes began in Boston as early as 1639, with Boston to New York City service starting in 1672. Sanctioned mail service began in 1692 when King William III granted to an English nobleman a delivery "patent" that included the exclusive right to establish and collect a formal postal tax on official documents of all kinds; the tax was repealed a year and few were actually used in the thirteen colonies, but they saw service in Canada and the British Caribbean islands.

In the years leading up to the American Revolution mail routes among the colonies existed along the few roads between Boston, New York and Philadelphia. In the middle 18th century, individuals like Benjamin Franklin and William Goddard were the colonial postmasters who managed the mails and were the general architects of a postal system that started out as an alternative to the Crown Post, now becoming more distrusted as the American Revolution drew near; the postal system that Franklin and Goddard forged out of the American Revolution became the standard for the new U. S. Post Office and is a system whose basic designs are still used in the United States Postal Service today. In 1775, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first Postmaster General, the U. S. Post Office was born. So important was the Postmaster General that in 1829 this position was included among those in the President's Cabinet; as America began to grow and new towns and villages began to appear, so too did the Post Office along with them.

The dates and postmarks generated from these places has provided the historian with a window into a given time and place in question. Each postmark is uniquely distinctive with its own name of state and town, in addition to its distinctive date. Post Offices that existed along railroad lines and at various military posts have their own special historical aspect. Mail and postmarks generated from prisoner of war camps during the Civil War, or from aboard naval ships, each with a U. S. Post Office aboard and have offered amazing insights into United States history and are avidly sought after by historians and collectors alike. Between 1874 and 1976 post offices were categorized from first to fourth classes based on the amount of revenue they generated, with first being the highest. Before the introduction of stamps, it was the recipient of mail—not the sender—who paid the cost of postage, giving the fee directly to the postman on delivery; the task of collecting money for letter after letter slowed the postman on his route.

Moreover, the addressee would at times refuse a piece of mail, which had to be taken back to the Post Office. Only did a sender pay delivery costs in advance

People Who Travel (1938 French-language film)

People Who Travel is a 1938 French-German film directed by Jacques Feyder. The film was a co-production with a separate German version Travelling People released, it is a circus film. Due to an accident at the Barlay Circus, animal trainer Flora finds Fernand, a former prison escapee, refers him to manager, Edouard Barlay; the son of Flora, does the acrobatics with the manager's daughters and Yvonne. In love with the latter, Suzanne becomes jealous. Squire Pepita is interested in the young man. Written: Jacques Feyder and Jacques Viot Dialogue: Bernard Zimmer Photography: Franz Koch Décor: Jean d'Eaubonne Editing: Roger Mercanton Music: Wolfgang Zeller Assistant technician: André Roanne Producers: Société Films Sonores Tobis - Filmkunst Berlin Genre: Tragedy - Black and white - 121 mn Françoise Rosay: La dompteuse Flora André Brulé: Fernand Marie Glory: Pepita Guillaume de Sax: Le directeur Edouard Barlay Sylvia Bataille: Yvonne Barlay Louise Carletti: Suzanne Barlay Fabien Loris: Marcel André Roanne: Le lieutenant de gendarmerie Yves Deniaud: Le bonimenteur Daniel Mendaille: Jo Georges Prieur: Gaëtan Yvonne Gall: Laëtitia André Nicolle: Le vétérinaire Lucien Brulé: Tino Alfred Adam: le médecin And Raymond Aimos, Maurice Baquet, Jean Sinoël, Pierre Labry, Madeleine Sologne...

As was common at the time, the film was filmed at studios in Munich in an alternative version and German, the technical team and stars being more or less different in each version. Only Françoise Rosay kept her role as Flora in the German version, while other stars were: Hans Albers, Camilla Horn, Herbert Hübner, Irene von Meyendorff, Ulla Ganglitz, Hannes Stelzer, Aribert Mog. Françoise Rosay refused to have a stunt double in scenes. Les Gens du voyage on IMDb Fahrendes Volk on IMDb

Omaha Beach

Omaha known as Omaha Beach, was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during World War II. "Omaha" refers to an 8 kilometers section of the coast of Normandy, facing the English Channel, from east of Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes to west of Vierville-sur-Mer on the right bank of the Douve River estuary. Landings here were necessary to link the British landings to the east at Gold with the American landing to the west at Utah, thus providing a continuous lodgement on the Normandy coast of the Bay of the Seine. Taking Omaha was to be the responsibility of United States Army troops, with sea transport, mine sweeping, a naval bombardment force provided predominantly by the United States Navy and Coast Guard, with contributions from the British and Free French navies; the primary objective at Omaha was to secure a beachhead of eight kilometers depth, between Port-en-Bessin and the Vire River, linking with the British landings at Gold to the east, reaching the area of Isigny to the west to link up with VII Corps landing at Utah.

Opposing the landings was the German 352nd Infantry Division. Of the 12,020 men of the division, 6,800 were experienced combat troops, detailed to defend a 53-kilometer front; the German strategy was based on defeating any seaborne assault at the water line, the defenses were deployed in strongpoints along the coast. The untested American 29th Infantry Division, along with nine companies of U. S. Army Rangers redirected from Pointe du Hoc, assaulted the western half of the beach; the battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division was given the eastern half. The initial assault waves, consisting of tanks and combat engineer forces, were planned to reduce the coastal defenses and allow the larger ships of the follow-up waves to land. Little went as planned during the landing at Omaha. Difficulties in navigation caused the majority of landing craft to miss their targets throughout the day; the defenses were unexpectedly strong, inflicted heavy casualties on landing U. S. troops. Under heavy fire, the engineers struggled to clear the beach obstacles.

Weakened by the casualties taken just in landing, the surviving assault troops could not clear the defended exits off the beach. This caused further problems and consequent delays for landings. Small penetrations were achieved by groups of survivors making improvised assaults, scaling the bluffs between the most defended points. By the end of the day, two small isolated footholds had been won, which were subsequently exploited against weaker defenses further inland, achieving the original D-Day objectives over the following days; the coastline of Normandy was divided into seventeen sectors, with codenames using a spelling alphabet—from Able, west of Omaha, to Roger on the east flank of Sword. Omaha was designated X-Ray, from the phonetic alphabet of the day. Two names were changed on 3 March 1944. Eight further sectors were added when the invasion was extended to include Utah on the Cotentin Peninsula. Sectors were further subdivided into beaches identified by the colors Green and White. Omaha was bounded at either end by large rocky cliffs.

The crescent-shaped beach presented a sloping tidal area averaging 300 m between low and high-water marks. Above the tide line was up to 15 m wide in places. At the western end, the shingle bank rested against a stone sea wall which ranged from 1.5–4 m in height. For the remaining two thirds of the beach after the seawall ended, the shingle lay against a low sand embankment. Behind the sand embankment and sea wall was a level shelf of sand, narrow at either end and extending up to 200 m inland in the center, behind that rose steep escarpments or bluffs 30–50 m high, which dominated the whole beach and were cut into by small wooded valleys or draws at five points along the beach, codenamed west to east D-1, D-3, E-1, E-3 and F-1; the German defensive preparations and the lack of any defense in depth indicated that their plan was to stop the invasion at the beaches. Four lines of obstacles were constructed in the intertidal zone; the first, a non-contiguous line with a small gap in the middle of Dog White and a larger gap across the whole of Easy Red, was 250 m out from the highwater line and consisted of 200 Belgian Gates with mines lashed to the uprights.

30 meters behind these was a continuous line of logs driven into the sand pointing seaward, every third one capped with an anti-tank mine. Another 30 meters shoreward of this line was a continuous line of 450 ramps sloping towards the shore with mines attached and designed to force flat-bottomed landing craft to ride up and either flip or detonate the mine; the final line of obstacles was a continuous line of hedgehogs 150 meters from the shoreline. The area between the shingle bank and the bluffs was both wired and mined, mines were scattered on the bluff slopes. Coastal troop deployments, comprising five companies of infantry, were concentrated at 15 strongpoints called Widerstandsnester, numbered WN-60 in the east to WN-74 near Vierville in the west, located around the entrances to the draws and protected by minefields and wire. Positions within each strongpoint we