History & Culture

Kaldi and the Dancing Goats: Coffee’s Origin Legend

According to legend, the origin of coffee may be traced to a young goatherd named Kaldi in Ethiopia over a thousand years ago. Kaldi noticed his goats were frolicking around after they ate some wild berries and he ate some too. When a passing monk saw the stimulating effect of the berries, he used them to make a beverage—the first coffee.

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Coffee Rationing for U.S. Civilians in World War II

During World War II, the U.S. government found it necessary to restrict civilian coffee consumption to about half its normal level. Despite record coffee production in Brazil and elsewhere, the war disrupted coffee shipping. The government imposed rationing to make coffee available to all citizens on an equal basis, while giving priority to the needs of the military. Americans did their patriotic duty but were relieved when rationing ended in mid-1943.

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4-Cent 1937 Army Stamp: Robert E. Lee, Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, and Stratford Hall

The 4-cent 1937 Army stamp, the fourth Army stamp in the ten-stamp 1936-1937 Army-Navy commemorative series, features Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, along with Robert E. Lee’s Virginia birthplace, Stratford Hall. One of the few U.S. postage stamps to feature Confederate leaders, this stamp offers an important look at a dark period of American history.

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