Saturday, 30 April 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

Near the border between North Carolina and Virginia coasts, the mighty Gulf Stream sweeps in close to the mainland. To avoid fighting its powerful current, captains steered their ships perilously close to land. To warn mariners to keep safe distance, US Lighthouse Board first lit on December 1, 1875 the Currituck Beach Lighthouse filling the remaining "dark space" on the North Carolina coast between the Cape Henry Lighthouse to the north and Bodie Island to the south. The light is located on the Outer Banks in Corolla, North Carolina and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
 The 162 ft (49 m) unpainted round red brick tower still holds the original first-order Fresnel lens and the Victorian style wood keeper´s house is under a complete three decades restoration process. A smaller dwelling on the north side of the light (probably the residence for a third keeper and his family) was restored and serves as visitor center and a museum shop. The lighthouse was automated in 1939. Visitors can climb the tower’s 214 steps during warm-weather months (from Easter through Thanksgiving). Winter months provide time for restoration and maintenance.
US Postal Service introduced its Celebrating Lunar New Year series in 2008 and in 2011 issued the fourth stamp on January, 22nd. The 44-cent stamp celebrates the Year of the Rabbit which begins on February 3, 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012. It depicts kumquats, which are eaten for luck and given as special gifts, a design of a rabbit and the Chinese character for "Rabbit."

The 2009 US Christmas stamp remembers a Christian image featuring Madonna and Sleeping Child, a painting by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Salvi, more commonly known as Sassoferrato. The 44-cent stamp was issued on October 20, 2009.

The 5¢ George Washington stamp was issued on February 22, 1966 as part of a large “Prominent Americans Series”, collection of 25 stamps that honored important individuals who played important roles in U.S. history. Thank you, Sarah and Aaron!

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