The last Monday in January is marked as World Local Post Day, originally established in 1989 as National Local Post Day. The Local Post Collectors Society decides on a theme for local posts to design stamps around each year. The theme for 2014 is the centennial of the start of World War One.
In 1818, a merchant ship from the very young United States of America first arrived in the ancient Kingdom of Siam in the first recorded contact between the two nations. The ship carried a letter of greeting from U.S. President James Monroe. Christian missionaries soon arrived, becoming the first Americans to settle in the region. Additional ships brought fabrics, arms and other trade goods. In the early 1830s, the famed co-joined twins Chang and Eng became the first Siamese to emigrate to the United States.
In 1832, another American president — Andrew Jackson — dispatched the sloop-of-war Peacock to the courts of China-Cochin, Siam and Muscat. On board was his official envoy Edmund Roberts whose mission was to negotiate the first U.S. treaty with an Asian nation. As gifts for the Siamese king, President Jackson sent a gold sword with a design of an elephant and an eagle chased on a gold handle, along with a proof set of Americans coins. This included the “King of Siam” 1804 silver dollar. The set, minus a Jackson gold medal, was sold for a record price of $8.5 million in November 2005.
While Siam had previously established diplomatic and trade relations with Portugal, France and Great Britain, the negotiations conducted by Roberts marked the first time that Siam recognized America as an equal trading partner.
The resulting Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed on 20 March 1833 (2376 B.E. on the Buddhist calendar) with the Chao Phraya Phra Klang representing the Siamese king Phra Nang Klao– known in the West as Rama III — thereby establishing Thai-American diplomatic relations. It is the 180th anniversary of this friendship that is commemorated on the fifth release by Muang Phuket Local Post, scheduled for issuance on 11 December 2013.