August 2015

This Day in History… August 25, 1916

National Park Service Established 

CNARHS25D – Hot Springs National Park Quarter

Decades after the first national park was created, the National Park Service (N.P.S.) was officially established on August 25, 1916.

In the 1800s, Americans began to take notice of the natural wonders around them, and some began to call for their protection. The earliest example of this is Arkansas’ Hot Springs, which was made America’s first federal reserve in 1832.

During the Civil War, conservationists became worried about the affects of commercial ventures in Yosemite and lobbied for its protection. In 1864, President Lincoln placed Yosemite under the protection of the state of California. This was the first time the U.S. government set aside park land specifically for preservation and public use. Continue reading

Posted in August 2015, This Day in History | 14 Comments

This Day in History… August 24, 1814

Dolley Madison Saves Famous Washington Portrait 

U.S. #1822

On August 24, 1814, as British troops approached the American capital, First Lady Dolley Madison insisted on saving important historical relics, including a portrait of our first president.

Two years into the War of 1812, British troops were closing in on Washington, D.C. They began landing in Maryland on August 17, and were headed for the American capitol. President Madison had left the White House to meet with his generals, but instructed his wife to gather important state papers and wait for his return. Dolley and the White House staff waited anxiously, staring through spyglasses for either President Madison or the British Army. Continue reading

Posted in August 2015, This Day in History | 17 Comments

This Day in History… August 23, 1966

First Photo of Earth Taken from the Moon 

U.S. #2571

On August 23, 1966, Lunar Orbiter I captured the first images of our planet from deep space.

Photographing Earth wasn’t the mission. It wasn’t even considered until the craft was out in space.

The Lunar Orbiter program was launched in 1966, and aimed at capturing images of the moon’s surface to plan possible landing sites. As NASA made preparations, they discovered that Boeing and Eastman Kodak had been working on exactly what they needed – a spacecraft with an onboard camera system. Continue reading

Posted in August 2015, This Day in History | 15 Comments

This Day in History… August 22, 1902

First Public Presidential Car Ride 

U.S. #296 – Issued in 1901 to commemorate the Pan-American Expo and World’s Fair in Buffalo, New York. President McKinley was assassinated at the fair, leading Theodore Roosevelt to become President.

Touring New England on August 22, 1902, Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting President to publicly ride in an automobile.

Less than a year before, Roosevelt became America’s youngest President when his predecessor, William McKinley, was assassinated at the Pan-American Expo and World’s Fair. Roosevelt quickly became a leader in the Progressive Era and set about fulfilling his own political agenda.

Roosevelt proved popular among the people and toured often. In August 1902, he took a yacht to New Haven, Connecticut and then embarked on a state-wide tour in a Columbia Electric Victoria Phaeton automobile. It was the first time a sitting president publicly rode in a car. An estimated 20,000 people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the president and cheer him on as he passed by. Continue reading

Posted in August 2015, This Day in History | 15 Comments

This Day in History… August 21, 1959

America Adds 50th State – Hawaii 

U.S. #799 pictures King Kamehameha I who led a 28-year conquest to unite the islands of Hawaii.

On August 21, 1959, America became the 50-state nation we know today with the addition of Hawaii.

For centuries, the islands of Hawaii were ruled separately by local chiefs. In 1782, Chief Kamehameha began a bloody war to unite the islands into one kingdom. He achieved his goal of unification in 1810 and proclaimed himself King Kamehameha I.

U.S. #C46

Hawaii adopted its first constitution in 1840 and was recognized as an independent government in 1842. King Kalakaua gave the U.S. the right to use Pearl Harbor as a naval base in 1887 in return for trading privileges. In 1891, Kalakaua died and his sister was crowned Queen Liliuokalani. Continue reading

Posted in August 2015, This Day in History | 25 Comments

This Day in History… August 20, 1938

Lou Gehrig Hits Record 23rd Grand Slam 

U.S. #2417

Stepping up to bat in the first inning with the bases loaded, Lou Gehrig hit the 23rd grand slam of his career on August 20, 1938.

Many sportswriters have used the word “durable” to describe Lou Gehrig. Even his nickname, “The Iron Horse,” implied stability. Recruited by the Yankees in 1923, Gehrig stayed with the team his entire career.

Gehrig’s career was full of incredible accomplishments. He set an American League record in 1931 with 184 runs batted in; hit four home runs in one game in 1932; and played in 2,130 consecutive games – a record that remained unbroken until 1995. Continue reading

Posted in August 2015, This Day in History | 17 Comments