Today in Postal History

Crete to United States
June 6, 1911

The island of Crete was racked with decades of civil war after being restored to Turkey in 1840.
Finally in 1898, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Russia forces
took charge and declared the island an autonomous republic in 1899.
After sporadic attempts to align with Greece, the island was united with Greece in 1913.

Cretan stamps were first issued in 1900.
In 1908, stamps of Crete overprinted HELLAS (Greece) were
issued after the local parliament declared union with Greece.
However, these were suppressed.

By 1909 the locals grew restless again and issued the stamps used on this cover.
They are also Cretan stamps overprinted Greece in Greek characters.
Both black and red overprints were noted.

This picture postcard has three 1 l violet brown Hermes,
a 2 l dull violet Mycenaean seal, and a 5 l yellow green
Britomartis (Cortyna coin) (Scott 111-113).

The cover was addressed to Cleveland, Ohio.

The illustration is a view of Rethimnon on the north central coast.

There are three CDS for the Xania (also Chania) on the north side of the western end of Crete.
Chania is the site of many archeological treasures.*

*Thanks to David Benson for identifying Xania as the source for these CDS.


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