March 2016

This Day in History… March 7, 1876

Alexander Graham Bell Patents Telephone

U.S. #893 – Bell stamp from the 1940 Famous Americans Series.

On March 7, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received the patent for the telephone.

Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 3, 1847. His father taught speech and invented “Visible Speech,” a type of written code that made it easier for deaf mutes to learn to speak.

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This Day in History… March 6, 1906

Happy Birthday Lou Costello

U.S. #2566 – Abbott and Costello were honored in the 1991 Comedians set.

Louis Francis Cristillo (known as Lou Costello) was born on March 6, 1906, in Paterson, New Jersey.

From an early age, Costello was a talented athlete. He was especially good at basketball, and was once reportedly crowned the New Jersey state free throw champion. (He later used his basketball talents in Here Come the Co-Eds, when he performed his own hoop shots without special effects.) Costello also had brief success as a boxer under the name “Lou King.”

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This Day in History… March 5, 1922

Annie Oakley Shatters Women’s Trap Shooting Record

U.S. #2869d – Oakley stamp from 1994 Legends of the West sheet.

On March 5, 1922, Annie Oakley broke all existing records for women’s trap shooting.

Born Phoebe Ann Mosey in Ohio in 1860, Annie Oakley learned to shoot at an early age. She showed remarkable skill with guns and would often shoot and sell wild game to local restaurants to help support her impoverished family. When an admirer suggested she compete against professional marksman Frank Butler in a shooting exhibition, 15-year-old Annie reluctantly agreed. To the cheers of the amazed crowd she defeated Butler on the last shot, 25 to 24. The two sharpshooters married in 1876. Taking the stage name Oakley, she toured with vaudeville shows and circuses.

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This Day in History… March 4, 1791

Vermont Becomes 14th State

U.S. #643 pictures one of the famed Green Mountain Boys.

On March 4, 1791, Vermont was admitted to the Union.

Vermont served mainly as a hunting ground for the tribes of Algonquian Indians before white settlement. France’s Samuel de Champlain was one of the first Europeans to explore the Vermont area. He reached Lake Champlain, which bears his name, in 1609.

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This Day in History… March 3, 1845

Florida Becomes 27th State

U.S. #1271 commemorates the 400th anniversary of Spain’s establishment of the first European settlement in the U.S.

On March 3, 1845, Florida joined the Union.

Scientists have dated burial mounds found along Florida’s western coast at more than 10,000 years old. There were about 350,000 Native Americans living in the Florida region when the first European explorers arrived. These Indians belonged to five main groups: the Calusa, the Tequesta, the Ais, the Timucua, and the Apalachee.

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This Day in History… March 2, 1972

Pioneer 10 is Launched

U.S. #1556 pictures Pioneer 10 passing by Jupiter.

On March 2, 1972, Pioneer 10, the first spacecraft to leave our Solar System, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The planning for Pioneer 10 first began in the 1960s, when Aerospace engineer Gary Flandro suggested a “Planetary Grand Tour.” The tour would take advantage of a rare alignment of the outer planets of our solar system. NASA developed a proposal for a pair of “Galactic Jupiter Probes” to pass through the asteroid belt and provide the first close-up pictures of Jupiter.

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