January 2016

This Day in History… January 7, 1800

U.S. #818 – Fillmore married his former teacher, Abigail Powers.

Birth of President Millard Fillmore

America’s 13th president, Millard Fillmore, was born on January 7, 1800, in Moravia, New York.

Born three weeks after the death of George Washington, Millard Fillmore was America’s first President to be born after the death of a former President, and the first born in the 19th Century.  With few opportunities available, at the age of 14 Fillmore’s father apprenticed him to a cloth maker in Sparta, New York.  Tired of working under poor conditions, Fillmore bought his freedom and walked 100 miles to get home.
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This Day in History… January 6, 1941

U.S. #908 – FDR personally selected this stamp design to show the world why the U.S. entered the war.

Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms

On January 6, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt gave his “Four Freedoms” speech while delivering the State of the Union Address.

By January 1941, World War II had wreaked havoc across the globe.  Germany invaded Poland, Belgium, and Holland.  Additionally, France had been defeated by a German blitz, leaving England the lone nation against Germany.  The Soviet Union invaded Finland, and Japan was ruthlessly battling China.
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This Day in History… January 5, 1933

U.S. #403 was a re-issue for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. (Click the image for the stamp story.)

Construction Begins on Golden Gate Bridge

On January 5, 1933, the four-year construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began in San Francisco Bay.

The Golden Gate is a narrow passage of water that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.  Formed by the erosive water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers during the Ice Age, the deep channel features powerful tidal currents.  Dense fog forms over the region as cool, moist, ocean air travels inland and meets warmer temperatures.  The usual thick fog may help to explain why several seasoned explorers failed to discover the Golden Gate until 1769.
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This Day in History… January 4, 1896

U.S. #950 pictures the arrival of Brigham Young and Utah’s first Mormon settlers.

Utah Becomes 45th State

On January 4, 1896, Utah became a U.S. state.

The first people to settle in Utah arrived thousands of years ago.  These Indians made their homes in pueblos and caves.  When the first Europeans arrived in 1776, there were four major Indian groups living in the area – the Gosiute, Paiute, Shoshone, and Ute.  The Navajo moved into the region in the 1860s.
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This Day in History… January 3, 1959

U.S. #800 – pictures Denali (formerly Mount McKinley), the highest peak in North America.

Alaska Becomes America’s 49th State

On January 3, 1959, Alaska joined the United States.

Most scientists believe the first people to live in America walked across a land bridge that connected Asia to Alaska more than 20,000 years ago.  Then in 1648, Semen I. Dezhnev led a group of Russians across the narrow body of water that separates Asia from Alaska.
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This Day in History… January 2, 1949

U.S. #983 pictures a rural farmer with a wheel representing industry and a ballot box.

Puerto Rico’s First Democratically-Elected Governor

On January 2, 1949, Luis Muñoz Marín became Puerto Rico’s first independently-elected governor.

Puerto Rico had been governed by Spain for more than three centuries before it was annexed to the United States in 1898.  For the next fifty years, its governor was appointed by America’s President.  In 1946, President Harry S. Truman appointed the island’s first full-time Puerto Rican governor –  Jesús T. Piñero.
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