May 2016

This Day in History… May 15, 1856

Happy Birthday L. Frank Baum 

U.S. #2445 – Baum’s Wizard of Oz was made into a movie in 1939.

Lyman Frank Baum was born on May 15, 1856, in Chittenango, New York (about 30 miles from Mystic’s home in Camden).

The seventh of nine children, Baum was often sick as a child but enjoyed the escape of daydreams. At the age of 12 he attended Peekskill Military Academy but was frequently disciplined for his daydreaming and allowed to return home after two years.

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This Day in History… May 14, 1607

Settlement of Jamestown

U.S. #328-30 – The 1907 Jamestown Exposition stamps marked the 300th anniversary of this settlement with artwork of the landing, John Smith, and Pocahontas.

On May 14, 1607, America’s first permanent English settlement was established at Jamestown, Virginia.

England’s Queen Elizabeth I granted Sir Walter Raleigh permission to establish a colony in America in 1584. Raleigh sent several expeditions to the New World, but they all failed due to inadequate supplies. At that time, Raleigh and the queen gave the name Virginia to the east coast of America, after Elizabeth who was known as the “virgin queen.”

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This Day in History… May 13, 1897

First Successful Wireless Communication Over Water

U.S. #1500 pictures Marconi’s spark coil and spark gap, which enabled him to transmit across the Atlantic Ocean by wireless radio.

On May 13, 1897, Guglielmo Marconi sent the world’s first wireless communication over open sea.

Born in Bologna, Italy, on April 25, 1874, Guglielmo Marconi spent his early years in his native country as well as Bedford, England. He reportedly didn’t do well in school, but had an interest in science and electricity.

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This Day in History… May 12, 1907

Happy Birthday Katharine Hepburn! 

U.S. #4461 – Hepburn was the 16th honoree in the Legends of Hollywood series.

Katharine Houghton Hepburn was born on May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut.

From a young age, Hepburn’s parents encouraged her to be outspoken and develop both her body and mind. Following her brother’s suicide in 1921, Hepburn fell in a debilitating depression for several years. For much of her career, she claimed his birthday (November 8) as her own.

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This Day in History… May 11, 1858

Minnesota Becomes 32nd State

U.S. #1106 showcases the rolling hills, lakes, and islands that make up Minnesota’s natural charm.

Minnesota was admitted to the Union on May 11, 1858.

When the first Europeans arrived in Minnesota in the second half of the 1600s, the Sioux Indians dominated the northern portion of the state. By the mid-1700s, Chippewa Indians moved into the area from the east, pressured by the expanding population of Europeans, and displaced the Sioux to the south. The Sioux were forced into a nomadic lifestyle, wandering the southern plains.

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This Day in History… May 10, 1869

Transcontinental Railroad Completed

U.S. #922 was issued on the 75th anniversary of the Golden Spike ceremony.

On May 10, 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad was completed with the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah.

Talks about a railroad spanning America began as early as 1832, when Dr. Hartwell Carver suggested one from Lake Michigan to Oregon. Congress began to seriously consider the idea in the late 1840s, following the discovery of gold in California.

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Posted in May 2016, This Day in History | 13 Comments