May 2016

This Day in History… May 20, 1932

First Woman to Fly Solo Across the Atlantic 

U.S. #C68 was issued on Earhart’s 66th birthday.

On May 20, 1932, Amelia Earhart completed the first solo flight across the Atlantic by a female, five years to day after Charles Lindbergh first made the same trip.

Born in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhart (1897-1939) had an early fascination with flying. In 1904, Amelia Earhart saw a roller coaster for the first time during a family trip to St. Louis.   When she returned home, Earhart and an uncle built a homemade version and attached it to the roof of a shed. Though Amelia ended up bruised and the wooden box she rode in was destroyed, she exclaimed, “It’s just like flying!”

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This Day in History… May 20, 1927

First Solo Non-Stop Flight Across the Atlantic 

U.S. #C10 was the first U.S. stamp issued to honor a living a person, spurred on by thousands of requests.

On May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh began his famous flight across the Atlantic aboard the Spirit of St. Louis.

Born in 1902, Charles Augustus Lindbergh was taught to be completely self-reliant. It was this mindset, along with the spirit of an explorer, that led to the flight that would make him an aviation pioneer.

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This Day in History… May 19, 1795

Birth of Johns Hopkins 

U.S. #2194 was issued as part of the Great Americans Series.

Johns Hopkins was born on May 19, 1795, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Hopkins was named after his grandfather (also Johns Hopkins) who took his mother’s last name (Margaret Johns) as his first when she married Gerard Hopkins.

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This Day in History… May 18, 1933

Tennessee Valley Authority Created

U.S. #2042 was issued for the 50th anniversary of the TVA.

On May 18, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Tennessee Valley Authority to provide hydroelectric power to rural areas of six states.

Before the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the citizens living in this area, which includes the states of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee, lived in economic depression. Only three out of a hundred families had electricity. Most of the people received public assistance – there was very little industrial employment. Also, the Tennessee River was navigable by boats with a draft of only three feet or less.

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This Day in History… May 17, 1792

Forerunner to New York Stock Exchange Formed

U.S. #2630 was issued on the 200th anniversary of the NYSE.

On May 17, 1792, the Buttonwood Agreement was signed, laying the groundwork for the New York Stock Exchange.

America’s investment markets were first born in 1790, when the federal government refinanced all state, federal, and Revolutionary War debt. They issued $80 million in bonds – the first publicly traded securities in America. In the early days, auctioneers often conducted these trades.

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This Day in History… May 16, 1801

Happy Birthday William H. Seward

U.S. #370 was issued for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Expo.

William Henry Seward was born on May 16, 1801 in Florida, New York.

Seward was a bright child that enjoyed school (it was reported that instead of running away from school to go home, he’d run away from home to go to school).   He went on to attend Union College, taking time off to teach in Georgia before returning and graduating with high honors in 1820.

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