August 2016

This Day in History… August 26, 1910

Happy Birthday Mother Teresa 

U.S. #4475 was issued on the 13th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s passing.

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910 in what is today Macedonia.

When she was 18 years old, Agnes left her home country in Southeastern Europe to join the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin, Ireland. This was her first journey to a distant land with customs and a language that were new to her.

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This Day in History… August 25, 1944

Liberation of Paris 

U.S. #2838f – From the 1994 WWII stamp sheet.

On August 25, 1944, Allied troops liberated Paris, France after four years of Nazi occupation.

In May and June 1940, German forces swept across France, overpowering the defenders and inflicting some 360,000 casualties. By the time they reached Paris on June 14, they occupied the capital city unopposed.

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This Day in History… August 24, 1814

Dolley Madison Saves Famous Washington Portrait  

U.S. #707 pictures another Gilbert Stuart painting of Washington known as The Athenaeum.

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.

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This Day in History… August 23, 1970

The Salad Bowl Strike 

U.S. #3781 was issued on the 10th anniversary of Chavez’s death.

On August 23, 1970, the largest farm worker strike in U.S. history began.

In 1933, President Roosevelt’s National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) gave most hourly workers legal protection for collective bargaining. While the act didn’t specifically exclude agricultural workers, Roosevelt’s administration essentially argued that it didn’t apply to them. This was a move to please farm-state members in Congress. Two years later, the National Labor Relations Act was passed, this time specifically stating that farm workers were exempt from these rights.

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This Day in History… August 22, 1864

The First Geneva Convention

Albania #651 honors Dunant and the Red Cross.

On August 22, 1864, twelve nations signed the first Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field.

While on a business trip to Italy in 1859, Swiss humanitarian Jean Henri Dunant witnessed the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino (part of the Austro-Sardinian War) in which nearly 40,000 soldiers were killed or wounded. Shocked by the lack of medical care, Dunant put his business aside and began tending to the wounded. He convinced locals to help without discrimination.

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This Day in History… August 21, 1770

James Cook Establishes New South Wales 

U.S. #1732 was issued for the 200th anniversary of Cook’s visits to Hawaii and Alaska in 1778.

On August 21, 1770, James Cook landed on the eastern coast of Australia and named the land New South Wales.

In 1766, then Lieutenant James Cook was hired by the Royal Society to embark on a trip to the South Pacific to study the transit of Venus across the Sun. Years earlier, in 1761, scientists in Britain, Austria, and France witnessed the transit, leaving members of the Royal Society wondering if Edmond Halley’s earlier calculations concerning the transit of Venus were correct. Based on his findings, scientists could then use the information to determine the distance between Earth and Venus.

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