April 2016

This Day in History… April 30, 1812

Louisiana Admitted to the Union

U.S. #1197 honors Louisiana’s 150th anniversary.

On April 30, 1812, Louisiana became America’s 18th State.

Although Indians lived in the lower Mississippi River valley as far back as 10,000 years ago, little evidence remains of their culture. The first organized society, called the Poverty Point site, may date as far back as 700 B.C.

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This Day in History… April 29, 1862

Capture of New Orleans

U.S. #4664 was issued for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans.

On April 29, 1862, Union Admiral David Farragut captured New Orleans from Confederate forces.

At the start of the Civil War, Winfield Scott, the Union’s Commander, devised a plan to divide the Confederacy and cut off trade by taking control of the Mississippi River. The capture of New Orleans – a thriving center of trade in the mid-1800s – was a step toward accomplishing both goals.

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This Day in History… April 28, 1758

Birth of James Monroe 

U.S. #591 – In 1820, Monroe was the third and final U.S. President to run unopposed in an election.

James Monroe was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on April 28, 1758, to successful Virginia plantation owners.

When Monroe was a teenager, both of his parents died, leaving him the family tobacco farm. After attending the Campbelltown Academy, Monroe enrolled in Virginia’s College of William and Mary at the age of 16.

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This Day in History… April 27, 1822

Happy Birthday Ulysses S. Grant 

U.S. #223 – From the 1890-93 Regular Issues.

Hiram Ulysses Grant was born on April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio. He was a small, sensitive, and quiet child, which earned him ridicule in school by children who confused his silence for stupidity, nicknaming him “Useless.”

From an early age, Grant displayed a high level of skill in horsemanship, and he was known throughout town for his talent at handling unruly horses. In 1839, Grant’s father heard of a vacancy at West Point. He asked Congressman Thomas L. Hamer to appoint his son to fill the spot. Grant was hesitant at first, but grew excited at the chance to travel and receive a better education.

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This Day in History… April 26, 1777

Sybil Ludington’s Daring Ride

U.S. #1559 – Ludington was honored as part of the Contributors to the Cause Bicentennial Series.

On April 26, 1777, Sybil Ludington embarked on a nighttime ride twice as long as the one that made Paul Revere famous two years earlier.

Born on April 5, 1761 in Kent, New York, Sybil was the daughter of Colonel Henry Ludington, the leader of the local militia in Patterson, New York. During the Revolutionary War, Sybil wanted to join the militia because she didn’t like being ruled by Great Britain.

On April 26, 1777, as Sybil was tucking her siblings into bed, a messenger arrived at the family house. He had news that the British were burning the town of Danbury, Connecticut – the militia’s supply center. With only 150 militiamen in town at the time, Sybil’s father knew he needed to muster additional troops to protect the town from a British attack. With only hours before they’d arrive, he needed a volunteer to ride fast and hard to bring back troops. Sybil volunteered in a heartbeat.

It was 9 p.m. before Sybil got underway. By then, the glow from the burning town of Danbury could be seen for miles. She traveled 40 miles alone on horseback and in the dark. She banged a stick on doors to rouse the locals, calling out, “Muster at Ludington’s!”

Sybil rode all night through the rain – at one time fending off highwaymen with her father’s musket. Finally, exhausted after riding 40 miles, she returned home shortly before dawn.

There, 400 members of the local militia had gathered and soon marched off. They were too late to save Danbury, but in the Battle of Ridgefield – and other skirmishes – the British were so thoroughly harassed that they were driven back to their ships. They did not raid deep into Connecticut for the rest of the war.

News of Sybil’s ride spread, and General George Washington personally went to her house to thank her for her courage. Alexander Hamilton also wrote her a letter of thanks.

After the war, Sybil got married and had one son. She died on February 26, 1839. In 1935, in honor of her ride, New York State placed markers along the route she took. And since 1979, there has been a Sybil Ludington 50-kilometer race that closely follows the path of her ride.

Click the images to add this history to your collection.

Click here to see a statue in Carmel, New York honoring Sybil’s ride.

Posted in April 2016, This Day in History | 23 Comments

This Day in History… April 25, 1959

Opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway

U.S. #1131 was America’s first joint-issue stamp.

On April 25, 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened, connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.

The first proposals for a deep waterway linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes were considered in the 1890s. It took more than a half-century to turn the ideas into reality.

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