May 2016

This Day in History… May 26, 1907

Happy Birthday John Wayne 

U.S. #3876 – Wayne was the 10th honoree in the Legends of Hollywood Series.

John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa, on May 26, 1907.

He was named Marion Morrison after his grandfather. The Morrisons later moved to a homestead in Glendale, California, where Wayne’s father opened a pharmacy in the same building as a movie theater. Wayne was allowed to go to the movies for free several times a week. It was also in California that Wayne’s father taught him to ride horses, handle firearms, and to stand tall as a man.

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This Day in History… May 25, 1961

JFK Calls to Put a Man on the Moon

U.S. #1246 was issued for Kennedy’s 47th birthday.

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech to Congress announcing his plan to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

In October 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik 1, the first human-made satellite. Alarmed by the potential threat the Soviet technology could pose, The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) launched its first artificial satellite, Explorer 1, in January 1958.  Later that year President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

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This Day in History… May 24, 1940

First Successful Single-Rotor Helicopter Flight

U.S. #C119 pictures Sikorsky with his VS-300.

On May 24, 1940, Igor Sikorsky successfully flew the first single-rotor helicopter.

Born in Kiev, Russia (now Ukraine) Sikorsky developed an interest in flight at the age of 11, and created a small rubber band powered helicopter by the time he was 12.

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This Day in History… May 23, 1883

Happy Birthday Douglas Fairbanks 

U.S. #2088 was issue don Fairbanks’ 101st birthday.

Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman was born on May 23, 1883 in Denver, Colorado.

His father, Charles Ullman, served in the Civil War and founded the U.S. Law Association, which later became the American Bar Association. After he abandoned the family in 1888, Douglas’ mother reverted herself and her son’s last name to that of her first husband, Fairbanks.

Douglas Fairbanks discovered his love of acting at a young age. He began his career performing summer shows at the Elitch Gardens Theatre. Fairbank also worked with Margaret Fealy, who ran an acting school for Denver’s children.

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This Day in History… May 22, 1849

Abraham Lincoln is Awarded Patent 

U.S. #91 – 1868 Lincoln “E” Grill.

On May 22, 1849, Abraham Lincoln became the only future U.S. president to receive a patent.

When Lincoln was a teenager, he took a flatboat down the Ohio and Mississippi River to New Orleans while working as a hired hand. In the coming years he grew accustomed to traveling the rivers for similar work. In the 1830s he and some fellow workers were traveling the river when their flatboat got stuck on a milldam.

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Posted in May 2016, This Day in History | 16 Comments

This Day in History… May 21, 1881

Birth of American Red Cross 

U.S. #702 was issued for the American Red Cross’ 50th anniversary.

On May 21, 1881, Clara Barton established the American Red Cross.

Clara Barton was born on December 25, 1821 in North Oxford, Massachusetts. She was a bright child that excelled in school. When she was 10, she committed herself to nursing her brother back to health after he fell off the roof of barn. Even though the doctors eventually believed he was beyond healing, she was dedicated to helping him and he made a full recovery.

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