Sept. 2015

This Day in History… September 18, 1947

U.S. #3167 pictures F-16c’s of the Air Force’s precision flying team, the Thunderbirds, flying in diamond formation.

U.S. Air Force Established

After 40 years and two wars, the aeronautical division of the U.S. military was established as its own branch, the Air Force, on September 18, 1947.

What would later become the Air Force was originally created as an aeronautical division of the Army Signal Corps in 1907. The next year, the Army purchased its first plane, and in 1911, Congress appropriated funds for aviation. Control passed to the aviation division in 1914.

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This Day in History… September 17, 1787

U.S. #798

Signing of the U.S. Constitution

On September 17, 1787, 39 delegates from 12 states signed the U.S. Constitution, laying the groundwork of our nation’s government.

In the Spring of 1787, delegates from 12 of the 13 states (Rhode Island didn’t participate, they opposed a national government) met at Independence Hall in Philadelphia to amend the Articles of Confederation. The Constitutional Convention was set to open on May 4, but few of the delegates had arrived by that time. Though, one arrived early and eager – James Madison.

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This Day in History… September 16, 1620

U.S. #548 – The Mayflower

The Mayflower Departs England for America

On September 16, 1620, the Mayflower left England to establish a colony in America.

The Pilgrims chartering the Mayflower were devout Christians who felt that only by breaking all ties with the Church of England could they retain their integrity before God. They sailed to Holland first, but after no improvement they set sail for America.

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This Day in History… September 15, 1831

U.S. #2364

John Bull Takes Its First Ride 

On September 15, 1831, the John Bull steam locomotive made its inaugural trip on New Jersey’s first railroad.

The John Bull was built in England by Robert Stephenson and Company for the Camden and Amboy (C&A) Railroad in New Jersey. Once it was completed, it was dismantled and shipped to America. Railroad engineer Isaac Dripps reassembled the locomotive, despite a lack of drawings or instructions on how to do so. As the first locomotive in the state, it was christened number one, and named Stevens, after the president of the C&A Railroad. The Stevens first rode the rails on September 15, 1831.

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This Day in History… September 14, 1901

President McKinley Dies 

U.S. #639

Eight days after being shot by an assassin at the Pan-American Expo, President McKinley died on September 14, 1901.

Less than a year before, McKinley had won re-election. Following his March inauguration, McKinley and his wife, Ida, began a national tour. But when Ida fell ill, they postponed the last stop, the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, until later in the year. On September 5, McKinley addressed some 50,000 people at the fairgrounds, with Leon Czolgosz among them. Czolgosz was an anarchist who wanted to become a hero.

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This Day in History… September 13, 1788

New York City Becomes America’s First Capital 

U.S. #2346 pictures the former national capital at Federal Hall. The building was later demolished in 1812.

On September 13, 1788, New York City was established as America’s first capital under the Constitution of the United States.

New York had already hosted the nation’s legislature and served as the de facto capital since 1785. In late 1784, the Contental Congress, operating under the Articles of Confederation, voted to make New York City it’s meeting place until a federal district on the banks of the Delaware River near Philadelphia could be completed. They chose Old City Hall, which was then renamed Federal Hall, to serve as capital building. Federal Hall was then redesigned by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who later became famous for designing the layout of Washington, D.C. Congress met for the first time in Federal Hall on January 11, 1785.

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