April 2016

This Day in History… April 24, 1990

Launch of the Hubble Telescope 

U.S. #3384-88 picture some of the beautiful images captured by the Hubble Telescope.

On April 24, 1990, NASA launched the Hubble Telescope from the Space Shuttle Discovery.

German scientist Hermann Oberth, one of the founders of rocketry, was the first person to suggest sending a telescope into space aboard a rocket in 1923. Little was done over the next 20 years until astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer, Jr., wrote a paper suggesting a space observatory. While progress was slow, Spitzer continued promoting the idea for the next 50 years.

Continue reading

Posted in April 2016, This Day in History | 7 Comments

This Day in History… April 23, 1791

Happy Birthday James Buchanan 

U.S. #820 – Buchanan was the only unwed U.S. President up to that time.

James Buchanan was born on April 23, 1791, in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania, to Irish immigrants. He was the second oldest of 11 children, although three died in infancy.

The family’s financial success ensured that young James could afford to be well educated. He graduated with honors from Dickinson College in 1809, studied law, and was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1812.

Continue reading

Posted in April 2016, This Day in History | 12 Comments

This Day in History… April 22, 1970

The First Earth Day 

U.S. #3189a was issued as part of the Celebrate the Century series.

On April 22, 1970, some 20 million people took part in the first Earth Day in America.

In 1969, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson witnessed the effects of the Santa Barbara oil spill and wanted to do something to prevent future horrors. At the time, American schools were a hotbed for anti-war protests. He believed that if he could harness that same enthusiasm for the rising interest in air and water pollution, he could make environmental protection a part of the national political agenda.

Continue reading

Posted in April 2016, This Day in History | 6 Comments

This Day in History… April 21, 1838

Happy Birthday John Muir 

U.S. #1245 pictures Muir hiking in a redwood forest.

John Muir was born on April 21, 1838, in Dunbar, Scotland. The third of eight children, Muir attended school in Scotland until he was 11, when the family moved to Fountain Lake, and later Portage, Wisconsin.

Muir’s father was strict, making the family work on the farm from dawn to dusk. Whenever he was allowed short breaks, Muir and his younger brother would explore the fields.

Continue reading

Posted in April 2016, This Day in History | 11 Comments

This Day in History… April 20, 1850

Birth of Daniel Chester French 

U.S. #887 was issued less than 10 years after French’s death.

Daniel Chester French was born on April 20, 1850, in Exeter, New Hampshire.

French was the son Henry Flagg French, a lawyer, judge, and Assistant U.S. Treasury Secretary. Though he showed a talent for drawing as a child, French didn’t discover sculpture until his late teens.

Continue reading

Posted in April 2016, This Day in History | 3 Comments

This Day in History… April 19, 1775

Battles of Lexington and Concord 

U.S. #618 features an idealized image of the scene at Lexington by Henry Sandham titled, “The Dawn of Liberty.”

The first battles of the American Revolutionary War were fought on April 19, 1775.

As resentment grew against their British governors, the colonists realized they might have to fight for fair treatment. Farmers, craftsmen, and shopkeepers began to organize and prepare for possible conflict. In the spring of 1775, British troops gathered in Boston. The colonials stored arms at nearby Concord, and drilled and readied themselves to fight “at a minute’s notice.”

Continue reading

Posted in April 2016, This Day in History | 8 Comments