August 2017

This Day in History… August 8, 1863

Robert E. Lee Attempts to Resign 

U.S. #1049 from the Liberty Series.

On August 8, 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee penned a letter to Jefferson Davis offering to resign in the wake of his loss at Gettysburg.

The year 1863 had been a tough one for Lee. He’d been sick since spring, possibly suffering a heart attack during that time. And he suffered a very public loss at the Battle of Gettysburg in early July.

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This Day in History… August 7, 1742

Happy Birthday Nathanael Greene

U.S. #785 pictures Greene, George Washington, and Mount Vernon.

Revolutionary War commander Nathanael Greene was born on August 7 (July 27 by the Old Style calendar), 1742, in Potowomut (Warwick), Rhode Island.

Raised in a Quaker family, Greene focused his studies on mathematics and law. He was later expelled from the Quaker church, which opposes war.

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This Day in History… August 6, 1974

Chautauqua Institution 

U.S. #1505 was issued in Chautauqua, New York.

On August 6, 1974, the USPS issued the Chautauqua Institution stamp, the second in the Rural America series, honoring the organization’s centennial.

Reverend John H. Vincent and Lewis Miller of Akron, Ohio, created the Chautauqua Institution in the summer of 1874. Their initial goal was to train Protestant Sunday school teachers in an enjoyable setting.

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This Day in History… August 5, 1930

Happy Birthday Neil Armstrong

U.S. #C76 – The engraved master die for this stamp went to the moon with Armstrong.

Neil Alden Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930, near Wapakoneta, Ohio.

The oldest of three children, Armstrong took an early interest in aviation when he took his first plane ride at the age of six. By age 14 he was taking flying lessons and by 16 he had a pilots license. Armstrong also had a neighbor with a telescope, which fueled his interest in space.

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This Day in History… August 4, 1790

Creation of the U.S. Coast Guard

U.S. #936 was issued to honor the Coast Guard’s role in World War II.

On August 4, 1790, President George Washington passed a new Tariff Act that created the United States Revenue Cutter Service, the forerunner of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Both before and after the American Revolutionary War, smuggling, shipping control, pirating, and revenue imbalance were issues along the American coast. The young nation needed income, which it could get from tariffs on imports. But it first had to deal with the issues at sea to be able to enforce these new tariff laws.

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This Day in History… August 3, 1946

America’s First Theme Park 

U.S. #2064 was issued in Santa Claus, Indiana.

On August 3, 1946, the first themed amusement park in America opened in Santa Claus, Indiana. While there are older amusement parks, Santa Claus Land is often considered the first theme park.

The idea of Santa Claus Land came from Evansville, Indiana, industrialist Louis J. Koch. Koch visited the small town of Santa Claus in 1941 and noted the disappointment that many children felt when they found out that Santa wasn’t there. Koch then resolved to establish a park where children could visit Santa all year.

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