November 2015

This Day in History… November 30, 1835

U.S. #863 – Twain is considered the “greatest humorist of his age.”

Birth of Acclaimed Writer Mark Twain

On November 30, 1835, Samuel Clemens (known by his pen name, Mark Twain) was born in Florida, Missouri.

When he was four years old, Clemens’ family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. It was a bustling town where steamboats arrived three times a day. Circuses and minstrel shows visited often and craftsmen made their daily work into entertainment for passersby. Clemens reveled in the culture of his town and the river that made it thrive. As a young man, Clemens met a steamboat pilot named Horace Bixby. That’s when he decided to become one of the best pilots on the river.

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This Day in History… November 29, 1929

U.S. #2388 – The 1988 Antarctic Explorers stamps were issued to coincide with Byrd’s 100th birthday.

Richard Byrd’s First South Pole Expedition

On November 29, 1929, Richard E. Byrd made his first flight over the South Pole. It was the first of five expeditions he made there during his life.

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This Day in History… November 28, 1925

U.S. #3602 – The Opry has helped Nashville become America’s “country music capital.”

First Grand Ole Opry Performance

On November 28, 1925, the Grand Ole Opry was founded as the WSM Barn Dance.

In 1924, a Chicago radio station began airing the National Barn Dance, one of the first country music radio programs in the country. The following year, producers at WSM radio station decided to make their own version. They hired the Chicago show’s longtime announcer George D. “Judge” Hay and produced their first episode of the WSM Barn Dance. The radio program was produced in the fifth floor studio of the National Life & Accident Insurance building in downtown Nashville. Their first guest was 77-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson.

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This Day in History… November 27, 1924

U.S. #3546 – In the early years of the parade, the floats were pulled by horses.

First Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

On November 27, 1924, New York City hosted its first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In the 1920s, many of Macy’s Department Store employees were first-generation immigrants. They wanted to give thanks for their new life in America with a traditional celebration from their European homeland – a parade.

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This Day in History… November 26, 1922

U.S. #3507 – Snoopy frequently imagined himself as a WWI flying ace ready to take on the Red Baron.

Birth of Charles Schulz

Famed cartoonist Charles Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 26, 1922.

From an early age, Charles Schulz had an affection for both comic strips and drawing. Every Sunday he and his father sat down together to read the funnies. The younger Schulz’s favorites included Skippy, Mickey Mouse, and Popeye. Schulz frequently drew the family dog, Spike, who had a habit of eating odd objects such as pins and tacks. In 1937, he sent a drawing of Spike to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and Robert Ripley published it in his syndicated panel.

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This Day in History… November 25, 1864

U.S. #C38 – One New York paper called the plot, “one of the most fiendish and inhuman acts known to modern times.”

Confederates Burn Manhattan

On November 25, 1864, a group of Confederate operatives set several fires in New York City, as retaliation for damage done in the South by Union troops.

Though far away from the battlefields and bloodshed, New York City was a hotbed of activity during the Civil War. Early on, the South had hoped it would secede and join them as a city state. In July 1863, the New York Draft Riots claimed 119 lives. Weary soldiers from Gettysburg marched into the city to end the riots. After that, Major General John Dix was given military control of the city.

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