This Day in History… October 15, 1966

Wolf Trap Farm National Park

US #1452 was issued for the 100th anniversary of America’s first national park. It pictures the old Filene Center.

On October 15, 1966, the Wolf Trap Farm National Park for Performing Arts was established in Virginia.  It’s the only National Park dedicated exclusively to the performing arts.

According to local records, wolves used to run wild in the Fairfax County area and bounties were given to those who could trap them.   In 1739, a branch of the Difficult Run tributary system was named Wolf Trap Creek, one of the early-recorded instances of the use of this name in the area.

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This Day in History… October 14, 1947

First Supersonic Flight

US #3173 was issued on this day in 1997.

On October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier.

Since the early 1940s, aviation scientists had been working to solve the problem of breaking the “sound barrier” – the sharp increase in aerodynamic drag that aircraft experience as they approach the speed of sound. For this purpose, the Bell Aircraft Company and the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics built the rocket-powered Bell X-1.

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This Day in History… October 13, 1775

Creation of the Continental Navy

US #1354 – America’s first navy jack that flew during the war.

On October 13, 1775, the Second Continental Congress authorized the creation of a Navy.

Previously, the British had imposed martial law in Boston and Americans wanted to capture British supplies and ammunition bound for that city.  Before the creation of the Continental Congress, George Washington took command of several ships to start intercepting the British vessels.  At the same time, several colonial governments began preparing their own warships.

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This Day in History… October 12, 1901

Renaming the White House 

US #809 from the Presidential Series.

On October 12, 1901, the Executive Mansion, the president’s official residence and workplace, was renamed the White House.

In 1792, President George Washington held a public competition to find a design for the president’s home and office in Washington, DC.  Thomas Jefferson was among those that submitted designs, but James Hoban created the winning plan.

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This Day in History… October 11, 1776

Battle of Valcour Island 

US #1566 honors the Continental Navy.

On October 11, 1776, the US Navy participated in one of its first naval battles of the Revolutionary War at Valcour Bay.

After the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, American forces attempted to invade Quebec because they believed the British would use it as a starting point to attack and divide the colonies.  However, the British fought back their attack and launched their own offensive toward the Hudson River.  Their goal was to capture Lake Champlain and the upper Hudson River to link their forces in Quebec with those in New York City.

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This Day in History… October 10, 1845

US Naval Academy Opened

US #794 from the 1937 Army and Navy Issue.

Decades after America’s first ships took to the oceans to defend its interests, the US Naval Academy was opened on October 10, 1845.

The Continental Navy was founded during the American Revolutionary War to battle the Royal Navy at sea. And in 1783, Revolutionary naval hero John Paul Jones first proposed that America establish a school to train midshipmen. But after the war ended, the navy was demobilized to save money.

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