This Day in History… January 27, 1850

Birth of Samuel Gompers 

US #988 was issued on this day in 1950.

American labor union leader Samuel Gompers was born on January 27, 1850, in London, England.

Gompers went to the Jewish Free School from the time he was six until just before his tenth birthday.  His parents removed him from school so he could apprentice with a cigar maker to help provide money for the family.  Gompers was able to continue his education through night school.

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This Day in History… January 26, 1880

Happy Birthday, Douglas MacArthur

US #1424 was issued on MacArthur’s 91st birthday.

Douglas MacArthur was born on January 26, 1880, in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

MacArthur was the son of Arthur MacArthur, Jr., a US Army captain and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his Civil War service.  The family lived in a series of Army posts in the Old West, where MacArthur remembers he “learned to ride and shoot even before I could read or write – indeed, almost before I could walk and talk.” 

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This Day in History… January 25, 1932

First U.S. Olympic Stamp 

US #716 was issued on this day in 1932.

On January 25, 1932, the US Post Office Department issued its first stamp honoring the Olympic Games.

1932 marked the third time the Winter Olympic Games were held, and the first time the event was held in the US.  The games were held in Lake Placid, a small town in upstate New York that was home to less than 3,000 year-round residents.

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This Day in History… January 24, 1862

Birth of Edith Wharton 

US #1832 – Wharton was the second honoree in the Literary Arts series.

Edith Newbold Jones Wharton was born on January 24, 1862, in New York City, New York.

Wharton came from a wealthy family – it’s been said that the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” may have been in reference to her father’s family.  After the Civil War, her family traveled Europe extensively, during which time she learned French, German, and Italian.

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This Day in History… January 23, 1737

Birth of Statesman John Hancock

U.S. #1691-94 was issued to commemorate Hancock’s signing of the Declaration of Independence.

US #1691-94 was issued to commemorate Hancock’s signing of the Declaration of Independence.

John Hancock was born on January 23, 1737, in Braintree, Massachusetts.

As a child, he was a casual acquaintance of John Adams.  After his father’s death in 1744, Hancock went to live with a wealthy aunt and uncle who exported rum, whale oil, and fish.

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This Day in History… January 22, 1963

The Élysée Treaty

Germany #1546 was issued for the 25th anniversary of the treaty.  Click the image to order.

On January 22, 1963, France and West Germany signed the Élysée Treaty, ending centuries of rivalries between the two nations.

Since the 16th century, France and Germany were often at odds with each other.  Through several wars and incidents, they were often in opposition to each other, creating a long-lasting rivalry that continued into World War II.

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