October 2015

This Day in History… October 13, 1792

U.S. #1338 – John Adams was the first President to occupy the mansion in 1800.

White House Cornerstone Laid

On October 13, 1792, the cornerstone of the White House was laid, though its exact location remains a mystery today.

President George Washington announced in January 1791, that the location of America’s capital would be located where the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers met, with land provided by Virginia and Maryland. The capital city, which became known as the District of Columbia, was designed by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who helped President Washington select the site for the executive mansion.

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This Day in History… October 12, 1492

U.S. #118 – Picturing Columbus’ landing, this image is based on John Vanderlyn’s painting that hangs in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol. View and read about the original painting here.

Christopher Columbus Makes Landfall

After more than two months at sea, Christopher Columbus reached what he believed was East Asia on October 12, 1492.

Born in 1451 and having spent much of his adult life at sea, Christopher Columbus was determined to find a western water route to China, India, and Asia’s gold and spice islands. After the King of Portugal refused to fund his “Enterprise to the Indies,” Columbus met with the king and queen of Spain. They refused him at least two times before they finally agreed to fund this trip.

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This Day in History… October 11, 1884

U.S. #2105 – Eleanor was initially depressed by the prospect of becoming First Lady, as the role largely revolved around hosting guests. She resolved to do much more.

Birth of Eleanor Roosevelt

On October 11, 1884, America’s longest-serving First Lady was born.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt chose at an early age to be addressed by her middle name. Though born into a very wealthy family, she lost both her parents when she was young. Eleanor was popular, a good student, fluent in French, and taught dance and calisthenics. Eleanor married Franklin Roosevelt on March 17, 1905, with her uncle, President Theodore Roosevelt, giving her away.

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This Day in History… October 10, 1845

U.S. #794 – Did you know Jimmy Carter is the only Naval Academy graduate to ever be elected President?

U.S. Naval Academy Opened

Decades after America’s first ships took to the oceans to defend its interests, the U.S. 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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This Day in History… October 9, 1940

Item #M9067 – In addition to being a musical pioneer, Lennon was an avid artist and writer. This stamp pictures his famous self portrait.

Birth of Music Legend John Lennon

On October 9, 1940, one of the world’s most celebrated songwriters and performers was born – John Lennon.

Lennon was born in Liverpool, England during a German bombing raid in World War II. John had a tough childhood, and his mother was killed in a car accident when he was 17. Lennon founded a band called “The Quarrymen” that same year. Paul McCartney and George Harrison soon joined.

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This Day in History… October 8, 1918

U.S. #3395 – Alvin York was one America’s most decorated soldiers of the war, earning the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross, among others.

Alvin York’s WWI Heroics

On October 8, 1918, Alvin York became an American hero after single-handedly defeating a German machine gun battalion.

York was an expert marksman from his time spent hunting food for his family. In 1911, he declared himself a pacifist and would later return his draft papers when the U.S. entered World War I. After receiving a second draft notice, he reported for duty and was convinced by his commander that the Bible supported the service.

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