Author Archives: MysticStamp

This Day in History… December 17, 1903

Wright Brothers’ Famed First Flight

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

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.

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This Day in History… December 16, 1912

First Stamp to Picture an Airplane

US #Q8 was issued on this date in 1912.

On December 16, 1912, the United States issued the world’s first stamp to picture an airplane – a 20¢ Parcel Post issue.

The US Postal Department had introduced Parcel Post service that year for items that weighed 16 ounces or more.  Rural Americans used the new mail class to access goods and merchandise they could not have gotten before, giving rise to mail order giants like Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Montgomery Ward and Co.

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This Day in History… December 15, 1864

Battle of Nashville

Antigua #2538a pictures a scene from the Battle of Nashville.

On December 15, 1864, Union forces launched the successful Battle of Nashville.

Confederate General John Bell Hood was defeated at Franklin, and his Army of Tennessee suffered great losses.  In spite of being greatly outnumbered, he pressed on to the well-fortified stronghold of Nashville.  On December 2, 1864, the Rebels approached the city from the south. Hood knew his forces were not strong enough to attack the Union, so the Southern army put up four miles of defenses and waited for the enemy to attack.

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This Day in History… December 14, 1896

Birth Of Aviator Jimmy Doolittle

US #2697a honors the raid on Tokyo that Doolittle led.

James “Jimmy” Doolittle was born on December 14, 1896, in Alameda, California.

Doolittle was an early aviation pioneer who devoted 42 years of his life to service in the US Air Force. While he had equals in terms of daring and bravery, Doolittle was one of the first aeronautical engineers. He was a flight leader and gunnery instructor during World War I.

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This Day in History… December 13, 1887

Happy Birthday Alvin York

US #3395 – Alvin York was one of America’s most decorated soldiers of World War I, earning the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross, among others.

World War I hero Alvin Cullum York was born on December 13, 1887, in Pall Mall, Tennessee.

The third of 11 children, York only attended school for nine months.  His father withdrew the children from school so they could help work on the family farm and hunt and fish to provide food for everyone.

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This Day in History… December 12, 2002

Happy National Poinsettia Day! 

US #1256 from the first US se-tenant issued in 1964.

On December 12, 2002, the US first celebrated National Poinsettia Day, honoring two of the men who helped make these festive plants popular in the US – Joel Roberts Poinsett and Paul Ecke, Jr.

Native to Mexico, the Aztecs called poinsettias Cuetlaxochitl, which means “flower that withers, mortal flower that perishes like all that is pure.”  According to Aztec tradition, these plants were a gift from the gods and their blood red coloring was to be a reminder of the sacrifices the gods made to create the universe.

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Posted in December 2018, This Day in History | 5 Comments

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