February 2016

This Day in History… February 11, 1847

Birth of Thomas Edison

U.S. #945 was issued for Edison’s 100th birthday.

Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio.

The youngest of seven children, Edison was the son of an exiled political activist from Canada. His mother, a schoolteacher, was a major influence on his life. Suffering from scarlet fever and ear infections as a child, Edison had poor hearing and was nearly deaf by adulthood.

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This Day in History… February 10, 1906

Birth of Lon Chaney, Jr.

U.S. #3172 – Chaney in his hallmark role as the Wolf Man.

Lon Chaney, Jr. was born Creighton Tull Chaney on February 10, 1906, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Territory.

Creighton was the son of Leonidas (Lon) Chaney, a popular vaudeville and theater actor. As a child, Creighton traveled the country with his mother, who was a singer. When his parents divorced in 1913, Creighton was shuffled between several homes and boarding schools. Then by 1916, his father began working in the film industry, re-married and was able to provide him with a stable home.

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This Day in History… February 9, 1825

John Q. Adams Elected in “Corrupt Bargain”

U.S. #811 – Adams was the fourth secretary of state in a row to become President.

On February 9, 1825, John Quincy Adams was elected President even though he didn’t receive the majority of the electoral vote.

In the years leading up to the election of 1824, the Democratic-Republican Party had won the presidency in six consecutive presidential elections, a period sometimes referred to as the “Era of Good Feelings.” President James Monroe followed the tradition of those before him and chose not to seek a third term. His Vice-President, Daniel D. Tompkins, was unpopular and in poor health, leaving the party’s nomination wide open.

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This Day in History… February 8, 1820

Birth of William T. Sherman

U.S. #225 – Sherman is often considered the “father of modern warfare.”

William Tecumseh Sherman was born February 8, 1820 in Lancaster, Ohio.

After the death of his father in 1829, nine-year-old Sherman went to live with a family friend, the prominent Whig politician Thomas Ewing. The Ohio senator – and later Secretary of the Interior – steered young Sherman toward West Point, securing an appointment for him at the age of 16.

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This Day in History… February 7, 1940

Pinocchio Premiers

U.S. #3868 was part of the first Art of Disney set in 2004.

On February 7, 1940, Pinocchio debuted at the Center Theatre in New York City.

Written in 1881 by Carlo Collodi, The Adventures of Pinocchio is a children’s book about the mishaps of a mischievous puppet that longs to become a human boy. It was published at a time when children’s books were relatively new, so it became popular around the world.

In September 1937, while working on Snow White, animator Norman Ferguson brought an English version of the book to Walt Disney. Walt loved it and planned to produce it as the company’s third movie. It was later moved up to become his second movie when production on Bambi proved troublesome.

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This Day in History… February 6, 1911

Birth of Ronald Reagan

U.S. #3897 was issued a year after Reagan’s death.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois, on February 6, 1911.

Even as a young man, Reagan showed an interest in acting and politics. He appeared in several school plays throughout his high school career and was elected president of the student council. In 1928, “Dutch,” as he was known, entered Eureka College, majoring in economics and sociology. While attending Eureka, Reagan participated in different sports, played the lead role in several school productions, and served as the president of the student body.

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