April 2017

This Day in History… April 24, 2005

Inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI 

Tuvalu #1054 – A 2007 Pope Benedict photomosaic stamp sheet.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was inaugurated as the 265th Pope of the Catholic Church on April 24, 2005.

Joseph Alois Ratzinger was born April 16, 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany, and was baptized the same day. When Joseph was five years old, he joined a group of children in welcoming the Cardinal Archbishop of Munich to his town. Joseph was so enamored with the Cardinal and his vibrant robes, he declared that day his wish to become a cardinal himself. Throughout his childhood, Joseph’s family moved several times due to his father’s anti-Nazi activities, which made his family a regular target of Hitler’s regime.

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This Day in History… April 23, 1928

Happy Birthday Shirley Temple 

U.S. #5060 – Temple was the 20th honoree in the Legends of Hollywood series.

Beloved child star and diplomat Shirley Temple was born on April 23, 1928, in Santa Monica, California.

Temple had a talent for singing, dancing, and acting from a very early age. She started going to a dance school when she was just three years old. It was here that Charles Lamont, casting director for Educational Pictures, first discovered her. Though she hid behind the school’s piano, Lamont saw something in Temple and asked her to audition for him.

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This Day in History… April 22, 1964

Opening of the 1964 New York World’s Fair

U.S. #1244 pictures the fair’s iconic Unisphere – a 12-story stainless-steel model of the earth.

On April 22, 1964, the New York World’s Fair opened at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York.

Long before Flushing Meadows was built, the site of the park was a natural wetland that would flush the runoff from the nearby bay. It had also housed a Dutch Settlement named after the village of Vlissingen, which means flushing.

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This Day in History… April 21, 1962

Opening of Seattle World’s Fair 

U.S. #1196 pictures the Space Needle and the Alweg Monorail.

On April 21, 1962, the Seattle World’s Fair, also known as the Century 21 Exposition, opened to the public.

Plans for the Seattle World’s fair began in 1955. At that time, organizers hoped to hold their fair in 1959 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. However, they wouldn’t have enough time to get everything ready by then so the plan had to change.

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This Day in History… April 20, 1923

Happy Birthday Tito Puente 

U.S. #4497 from the 2011 Latin Music Legends issue.

American musician and songwriter Tito Puente was born on April 20, 1923, in New York City, New York.

Puente’s family moved frequently during his early life, but he spent most of his childhood in Spanish Harlem. He was an active child, and his neighbors often complained that he was constantly drumming on pots and window frames. When he was seven, Puente’s mother signed him up for piano lessons.

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This Day in History… April 19, 1930

Graf Zeppelins Issued 

U.S. #C13 – Only 93,536 65¢ Zeppelins remain.

On April 19, 1930, three special airmail stamps, the Graf Zeppelins, were made available for sale to be used exclusively on mail carried via the Graf Zeppelin on its European – Pan American flights the following month.

In the 1920s many nations became aware of the commercial possibilities of transoceanic flight. However, there was only one company willing and able to initiate this service – Germany’s Luftschiffbau Zeppelin. Even today this firm’s ventures seem daring and visionary.

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