August 2018

This Day in History… August 17, 1859

First US Airmail by Balloon 

US #C54 was issued on the 100th anniversary of the flight in Lafayette.

On August 17, 1859, the first airmail in the United States was carried by balloon in Indiana, from Lafayette to Crawfordsville.

In the past, there had been other attempts to carry mail by balloon, but none were sanctioned by the Post Office Department. This flight, arranged by John Wise, was in conjunction with the Lafayette postmaster Thomas Wood.  Wise was a professional balloonist who had made over 230 balloon flights and hoped to set a record for the longest balloon flight.

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This Day in History… August 16, 1896

Klondike Gold Rush

US #3235 was issued in 1998 to mark the 100th anniversary of the peak of the Klondike Gold Rush.

On August 16, 1896, gold was discovered in the Klondike region of the Yukon in northwestern Canada.

The indigenous people in the area had long known of the existence of gold in the region, but they didn’t use it and didn’t search for it.  When Russians and members of the Hudson’s Bay Company came to the area, they heard the rumors of gold but opted to focus on fur trading instead, because it provided quicker profits.

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This Day in History… August 15, 1885

Birth of Edna Ferber 

US #3433 was issued to pay the 2002 first-class rate for letters weighing under 3 ounces.

Author Edna Ferber was born on August 15, 1885, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The daughter of a storekeeper, Ferber’s family moved to Chicago, Illinois, and Ottumwa, Iowa, before settling in Appleton, Wisconsin, when she was 12.  She would go on to graduate from high school there and briefly attend Lawrence University.

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This Day in History… August 14, 1941

Atlantic Charter

US #2559d from the 1941: A World at War sheet.

On August 14, 1941, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill issued the Atlantic Charter, which defined the Allies’ postwar goals for the world.

In reality, the charter was a statement more than a legal document.  It was the culmination of two years of communication between Roosevelt and Churchill.

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This Day in History… August 13, 1918

First Women Enlist in the Marines

US #1013 was issued to honor the role of women in the armed services.

On August 13, 1918, Opha Mae Johnson became the first woman to enlist in the US Marine Corps Reserve.

According to legend, the first American female Marine may have been Lucy Brewer. Stories claim she disguised herself as a man and snuck aboard the USS Constitution during the War of 1812.  However, there is little evidence to support that claim.

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This Day in History… August 12, 1862

Encased Postage 

US #EP15 – An encased US #65 in an Ayer’s Sarsaparilla case.

On August 12, 1862, John Gault received a patent for a design to encase postage stamps to use as currency.

By early 1862, the US was fully engulfed in the Civil War.  Many people began conserving their resources as they didn’t know how much longer the war might last.  Among the most hoarded items of the day – coins.

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