August 2019

This Day in History… August 25, 1918

Happy Birthday, Leonard Bernstein

US #3521 – The First Day ceremony for this stamp was held at the New York Philharmonic.

Leonard (Louis) Bernstein was born on August 25, 1918, in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  His grandmother had insisted his name be Louis, but his parents always called him Leonard and he legally changed his name to Leonard when he was 15. 

Bernstein had a love of music from a young age.  His family got an old piano from a family member that enabled him to learn to play at home.  He had several teachers over the years and could play entire operas and Beethoven symphonies as a child.

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This Day in History… August 24, 1890

Happy Birthday, Duke Kahanamoku

US #3660 was issued on Duke’s 112th birthday. Click image to order.

Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku (also known as “The Duke” and “The Big Kahuna”) was born on August 24, 1890, in Haleʻākala, Honolulu, Kingdom of Hawaii.  His family was related to the Kamehamehas, who’d led Hawaii for several years – his family was considered lower-ranking nobles.

When he was three, his family moved to Kālia, Waikiki to be closer to his extended family.  He grew up with five brothers, three sisters, and 31 cousins.  Duke attended school there but didn’t graduate, instead leaving school to help support his family. 

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Do you know what’s special about these stamps?

This Day in History…  August 23, 1969

US #1376-79 were issued the day before the congress opened.

On August 23, 1969, the US Post Office issued a set of four stamps for the 11th International Botanical Congress (IBC).

They were the first US stamps that honored flora from each of the four corners of the United States.  They were also the first to include Latin names.

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What U.S. Stamp Series Began on This Day in 1970?

This Day in History…  August 22, 1970

US #1405 – Edgar Lee Masters

On August 22, 1970, the US Post Office issued the first stamp in the American Poet Series.

Prior to this series, there had been a relatively small number of stamps honoring American poets.  Most notably, five poets were honored in 1940 as part of the Famous Americans Series – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, James Russell Lowell, Walt Whitman, and James Whitcomb Riley.  Other poets previously honored on stamps included Edgar Allan Poe and Francis Scott Key.

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What national organization dedicated to the law was founded on this day in 1878?

This Day in History…  August 21, 1878

US #1022 was issued for the ABA’s 75th anniversary. It pictures a section of the frieze from the walls of the US Supreme Court Room. Click image to order.

On August 21, 1878, the American Bar Association (ABA) was formed in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Lawyers played an important role in forming the United States.  Many delegates to the Constitutional Convention were attorneys, and quite a few of our early presidents practiced law.  Until the late 1800s, a person who had been an apprentice to a lawyer could train to become one himself.  In Indiana, the constitution stated any citizen and voter of good character could begin a law practice.

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Happy Birthday to the Centennial President!

This Day in History…  August 20, 1833

US #308 was the first Series of 1902-03 stamp to go on sale.

Benjamin Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, on August 20, 1833.  Harrison’s family was among the first families of Virginia, arriving in 1630.

The second of ten children, Harrison did not grow up in a wealthy household, despite his family’s distinguished roots.  His father chose to spend the farm’s income on his children’s education.  Young Harrison spent much of his childhood outdoors hunting and fishing.  Benjamin was seven when his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, was elected president of the United States.  They’re the only grandfather and grandson to serve as US presidents.

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