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Commodore Matthew C. Perry
Date Issued: 1953-07-14
Postage Value: 3 cents

Commemorative issue
Opening of Japan centennial
Commodore Matthew C. Perry

The younger brother of Oliver Hazard Perry, Matthew C. Perry is credited with "opening" Japan to the West. In 1852 the U.S. Department of the Navy selected him to lead a naval mission to Japan with the purpose of gaining a treaty to protect shipwrecked American seamen and to expand U.S. commerce. Perry presented a letter from President Millard Fillmore to the emperor and began his negotiations only after making an impressive show of U.S. naval force in Tokyo Bay, an example of "gunboat diplomacy." A treaty that provided for Japan to protect shipwrecked American sailors, to sell coal to U.S. ships, and to open two ports to American merchants was signed on March 31, 1954.

Topic: Ship (183)  

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