Author Archives: MysticStamp

This Day in History… December 21, 1937

U.S. #3185hSnow White stamp from Celebrate the Century pane.

Snow White Premieres

On December 21, 1937, Walt Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the world’s first full-length animated feature film.

“Snow White” is an old German folktale, preserved in written form by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm. The story tells of a princess who survives the murderous efforts of a jealous queen with the help of seven dwarfs.  Disney was inspired to re-tell the tale, removing much of the original story’s violence and playing up the romance.
Continue reading

Posted in December 2015, This Day in History | 10 Comments

This Day in History… December 20, 1803

U.S. #1020 depicts the signing of the purchase on April 30, 1803.

Louisiana Purchase is Completed

On December 20, 1803,  the Louisiana Purchase was finalized with a ceremony in New Orleans.

In the early 1800s, Napoleon Bonaparte sought to create a great French empire in the New World.  The center of the empire was to be the nation of Hispaniola.  Napoleon envisioned that the Mississippi Valley would be the trade center of the new empire, shipping food and supplies from America to Hispaniola.

Continue reading

Posted in December 2015, This Day in History | 11 Comments

This Day in History… December 19, 1777

U.S. #1689 pictures The March to Valley Forge by William Trego.

Washington Winters at Valley Forge

From December 19, 1777, to June 18, 1778, the Continental Army, under the command of General George Washington, camped at Valley Forge.

Following the crushing defeats at Philadelphia and Germantown in late 1777, General George Washington led his men to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania on December 19.  In addition to the recent losses that had dampened the men’s spirits, there was little food and inadequate clothing for the harsh winter conditions ahead.  Crude huts were hastily constructed to provide some type of shelter.  It was only when the last of 10,000 men had moved into sturdier structures that Washington abandoned his own tent in favor of the relative comfort of a hut.

Continue reading

Posted in December 2015, This Day in History | 12 Comments

This Day in History… December 18, 1892

U.S. #4360-63 – Nutcrackers became popular in America after WWII soldiers sent them home from Germany as gifts.

Premiere of The Nutcracker Ballet

On December 18, 1892, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker premiered in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Germans coined the phrase, “Gott gibt die Nüsse, aber wir müssen sie knacken selbst.” (God gives the nuts, but we have to crack them ourselves). This verse is recited to teach German children that life is often difficult, but if you persevere the rewards are plentiful. This life lesson may have contributed to the popularity of nutcrackers, as it helped children to enjoy the benefits of hard work.

Continue reading

Posted in December 2015, This Day in History | 9 Comments

This Day in History… December 17, 1903

U.S. #649 – The brothers flipped a coin to decide who would fly the plane first.

Wright Brothers’ Famed First Flight

On December 17, 1903, brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first successful heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Sons of a minister in the United Brethren Church, Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) and Orville Wright (1871-1948) grew up to become aviation pioneers. The brothers had always been interested in science and technology, but when their father gave them a flying toy in 1878, they set their sights on developing a heavier-than-air flying machine capable of carrying a man.

Continue reading

Posted in December 2015, This Day in History | 12 Comments

This Day in History… December 16, 1773

U.S. #1480-83 – Wealthy colonists offered to pay for the lost tea, but the British refused.

Colonists Revolt with Boston Tea Party

On December 16, 1773, a group of Massachusetts colonists known as the Sons of Liberty staged a dramatic protest against British taxes – the famed Boston Tea Party.

The French and Indian War left Britain in debt. So taxes were levied on the New World colonies, which enraged colonists. The slogan, “No taxation without representation,” became popular in Massachusetts and protests were staged. In 1770, British soldiers fired on a group of angry patriots, killing five of them. The Boston Massacre, as it came to be known, sparked public sentiment against the British.

Continue reading

Posted in December 2015, This Day in History | 18 Comments