August 2016

This Day in History… August 14, 1945

President Truman Announces Japan’s Surrender 

U.S. #2981h – President Truman announcing Japan’s surrender.

After nearly six years of a world at war, the Japanese surrendered on August 14, 1945, effectively ending World War II.

By the summer of 1945, Germany had surrendered, ending the war in Europe. However, Japan refused to surrender and continued to fight. The Allies felt they had little choice but to launch a major attack. Experts estimated one million U.S. casualties would be incurred in this invasion. Japanese losses would have been much higher.

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This Day in History… August 13, 1961

Work Begins on the Berlin Wall

U.S. #3211 – During the Berlin Airlift, the U.S. and our Allies delivered food and supplies to blockaded West Berlin.

Shortly after midnight on August 13, 1961, East German soldiers laid barbed wire and bricks, creating the Berlin Wall.

When the Nazis were defeated in World War II, Germany was divided into two countries. The German Democratic Republic in the East was part of the communist Soviet Bloc, while the Federal Republic of Germany was aligned with Western Europe. The capital city of Berlin was technically part of the Soviet zone, but was split as well. The Soviets attempted to blockade the Allied-supported western half of the city, but the Berlin airlift foiled those plans.

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This Day in History… August 12, 1891

Death of James Russell Lowell 

U.S. #866 – From the 1940 American Poets issue.

Poet, critic, and diplomat James R. Lowell died on August 12, 1891.

James Russell Lowell was born on February 22, 1819, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The youngest of six children, Lowell developed an early appreciation for literature from his mother.

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This Day in History… August 11, 1929

Babe Ruth Becomes First Player to Hit 500 Home Runs 

U.S. #3184a from the Celebrate the Century series.

Hitting the first pitch he saw, Babe Ruth made history on August 11, 1929, becoming the first player in Major League Baseball history to hit 500 home runs.

Born in Baltimore, George Herman “Babe” Ruth went on to become perhaps the greatest baseball player in sports history. He began his baseball career in 1914 as a pitcher, but showing even more talent at bat, he later became an outfielder. By the time he joined the New York Yankees in 1920, he had already gained a reputation as one of the greatest hitters in the game.

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This Day in History… August 10, 1821

Missouri Becomes 24th State 

U.S. #1426 pictures a Pawnee Indian facing a hunter-trapper and settlers.

On August 10, 1821, President James Monroe signed legislation adding Missouri to the Union as our 24th state.

Long before Europeans came to Missouri, a group of Indians known as the Mound Builders constructed large earthworks throughout the region. Many of these mounds can still be found there. However, this culture had disappeared by the time of European exploration.

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This Day in History… August 9, 1930

Betty Boop Makes Cartoon Debut

Guyana #3942 – Betty also starred in two comic strips, a radio show, and two network animated musical specials

Guyana #3942 – Betty also starred in two comic strips, a radio show, and two network animated musical specials

On August 9, 1930, Betty Boop made her first cartoon appearance in Fleischer Studios’ Dizzy Dishes.

While Betty Boop eventually became Fleischer Studios’ biggest cartoon star, her success didn’t come overnight. It was Bimbo who was the main star for Fleischer Studios at the time, and he played an important part in her evolution.

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