Rhode Island Around the World - International Mail
1955 Airmail from Bangkok, Thailand
to Albert Gold in East Greenwich, RI
(Scroll Down for History and Background Information)

The cover above was sent in November of 1955 by Thailand Stamp Dealer; H. C. Teng to Albert Gold in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Mr. Gold lived on an RFD route and was undoubtedly a stamp collector. The Cover was sent via airmail and is franked with three 1.25 baht "400th Anniversary of King Naresuan" issues, (the elephant stamps - issued in 1955) and a 1.15 baht King Bhumibol definitive stamp issued on February 15, 1951. (King Bhumibol was the reigning monarch and ascended the throne in 1946.)

The Kingdom of Thailand (formerly Siam) is located in the center of mainland Southeast Asia with Laos to the north and east, Cambodia to the southeast and Myanmar (formerly Burma) to the west. The capital and chief port city is Bangkok. Thailand was called Siam until 1939.

The chief religion is Buddhism and it is considered the National Religion. There is also a sizable Muslim population and a small Hindu population concentrated in the central region. Under the current constitution; the King is the Head of State and Head of the Armed Forces. He is considered to be Sacred and rules with the advice and consent of the National Assembly. The King also appoints the Prime Minister

The Tai speaking people originated in the area of Northern Vietnam and spread out from there about 1000 years ago. The first Tai Kingdom, (Sukhothai) was established in the mid 13th century when a local Tai ruler led a revolt against the Khymer Empire. In 1767 a Tai military commander established the Kingdom of Siam and in 1782 he was overthrown and succeeded by his military commander, Chao Phraya Chakri who ruled as "Rama I." Rama I was the first of the Chakri dynasty, which still rules Thailand today. 

One of my favorite movies was "The King and I" starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. The book and movie are based on the life of King Mongkut (Rama IV) and the Englishwoman Anna Leonowens who was the tutor to the King's children. (However, Anna's book was overly romanticized, highly inaccurate, did not depict the reality of court life or depict the King as he actually lived. King Mongkut was over 60 years old when Anna arrived and was highly literate in several languages including English.)

King Bhumibol, (the definitive stamp at lower left of cover) succeeded to the throne on June 9, 1946 after his older brother, Ananda Mahidol was found shot to death. He was married to Princess Sirikit Kitiyakara in 1950 and was formally crowned on May 5th of that year. He was the ninth King of the Chakri Dynasty.

Albert Gold was born in East Greenwich, Rhode island on February 17, 1906 and died in December 1972.

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