August 2016

This Day in History… August 20, 1938

Lou Gehrig Hits Record 23rd Grand Slam  

U.S. #2417 was issued at the 50th anniversary ceremony of the Baseball hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

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.

Born in New York City in 1903, Henry Louis Gehrig was the son of German immigrants who’s just moved to America a few years prior. Gehrig was a gifted athlete as a child, and his mother worked extra jobs to provide him with the best possible future.

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This Day in History… August 19, 1812

USS Constitution Earns Much-Needed American Victory At Sea  

U.S. #951 pictures an architect’s line drawing of the Constitution.

On August 19, 1812, the USS Constitution dueled with the British HMS Guerriere and reigned victorious.

In the late 18th century, North African pirates were wreaking havoc on the United States’ international shipping trade. American vessels were routinely seized in the Mediterranean Sea and their crews and cargo held for ransom. The fledgling nation established its own navy in 1794, and a fleet of warships was commissioned to protect the seafaring merchants. One of these ships was the USS Constitution, made from sturdy oak trees, which first launched in U.S. waters in 1797.

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This Day in History… August 18, 1920

19th Amendment Gives Women the Right to Vote

U.S. #1406 – pictures suffragists on the left and woman voting on the right.

On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment was passed, granting women’s suffrage.

During colonial times, only property-owning adult males could vote. Most women could not vote, although some colonies made exceptions for property-owning widows. When the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1789, it didn’t clearly define who could vote. Instead, states made that decision. New Jersey was the only one to allow women to vote, and that right was taken away in 1807.

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This Day in History… August 17, 1786

Happy Birthday Davy Crockett 

U.S. #1330 was issued on Crockett’s 181st birthday.

David “Davy” Crockett was born on August 17, 1786 in Greene County, North Carolina (though it is now part of Tennessee).

Crockett’s ancestral name was Crocketagne, which his ancestors changed when they emigrated from France to Ireland.

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This Day in History… August 16, 1858

Start of Transatlantic Cable Service

U.S. #1112 was issued for the 100th anniversary of the cable.

On August 16, 1858, the first message was sent via the transatlantic cable.

The telegraph was the first device to send messages using electricity. Samuel F. B. Morse is credited with inventing the telegraph. He first demonstrated the telegraph in 1837.

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This Day in History… August 15, 1812

Battle of Fort Dearborn 

U.S. #728 pictures the restored Fort Dearborn.

U.S. #728 pictures the restored Fort Dearborn.

In a battle lasting only 15 minutes on August 15, 1812, the Potawatomi Indians attacked Fort Dearborn near present-day Chicago, Illinois, and burned it to the ground.

Fort Dearborn was built beside the Chicago River in 1803 and named after then-U.S. Secretary of War Henry Dearborn. That part of the country, the Northwest Territory, had been an area of contention for years. The United States first acquired it as part of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, but clashes with local Native Americans continued over the years.

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