cat stampOn December 27th, 1871, the World’s first official public Cat Show was held at the Crystal Palace exhibition centre in London. Unfortunately, the magnificent cast-iron and glass building  was destroyed by fire in 1936.

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King George V and his passion for stampsA new biography of British King, George V, which focuses on his obsession with stamps, is the first book on a philatelic subject to be published on Kindle. The book, ‘George V’s Obsession – a king and his stamps’, contains new archival material and is the first new biography of George V (the present British Queen’s grandfather) for 30 years.

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Zanzibar stampThe history behind today’s item is fascinating and too involved to post the whole story here. Briefly, this stamp from Zanzibar was first issued in 1896, some months after the Sultan of Zanzibar, Seyyid Hamed-bin-Thwain, whose portrait appears on the stamp, had died.

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Darwin thumbnailCharles Robert Darwin, British naturalist and author of Origin of Species, died on April 19th, 1882 at the age of 73.  His five-year scientific research voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author.

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1934 soccer worldcup stampIn 1934, Italy hosted – and were eventual winners – the Football World Cup. They defeated Czechoslovakia in the final after extra time was played. Four years later they again won the final of the competition, this time held in France, beating Hungary 4-2.

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Famous women on stampsMany countries issue stamps annually featuring famous people. This is a very popular topic for many philatelists.

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Unsafe American youth stampThe United States Postal Service (USPS, which is heavily in debt) is destroying an entire run of stamps because the activities illustrated on three of the stamps in the fifteen stamp series have been deemed unsafe by the Presidential Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. The stamps were made to support a campaign driven by First Lady Michelle Obama to fight childhood obesity.

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Sir-Peter-Scott-stampSir Peter Markham Scott (born 14 September 1909, died 29 August 1989) was a British ornithologist, conservationist, painter, naval officer and sportsman. Scott was awarded a knighthood in 1973 for his contribution to the conservation of wild animals.

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john lennonOn December the 8th, 1980, I was driving home from my office in London when the newscaster on the BBC radio station I was listening too made an announcement that so shocked me that I drove through a red light at a very busy road junction – and with great good fortune managed to avoid a collision with another vehicle. The news that caused me to completely lose concentration was that former Beatle John Lennon had been shot and killed in New York – he was 40 years old.

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