December 2016

This Day in History… December 31, 1880

Happy Birthday George Marshall 

U.S. #1289 from the Prominent Americans series.

Born on December 31, 1880, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, George C. Marshall was a distant relative of former Chief Justice John Marshall.

Marshall decided early on to embark on a career in the military and attended the Virginia Military Institute. While there he was an All-Southern tackle for the VMI Keydets football team.

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This Day in History… December 30, 1853

Gadsden Purchase Settles Border Dispute

U.S. #1028 includes a map of the area of the Gadsden Purchase.

On December 30, 1853, the Gadsden Purchase was completed, adding over 29,000 square miles of land to the United States.

The Gadsden Purchase was the last major territorial acquisition in the contiguous United States.  It was also at the center of the growing slavery debate, the transcontinental railroad system controversy, and outstanding border issues left over following the Mexican-American War of 1846-48.

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This Day in History… December 29, 1845

Texas Admitted to the Union

U.S. #776 pictures two notable Texans – Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin.

On December 29, 1845, Texas was admitted as America’s 28th state.

About 30,000 Indians lived in Texas when the first Europeans arrived in the area. The Caddo were the largest of many tribes, and were known for farming and living in permanent homes. The Arkokisa, Attacapa, Karankawa, and other smaller tribes lived along the coast. The Coahuiltecans lived in southern Texas. The warlike Lipan Apaches lived on the Edwards Plateau in the west and the Comanche and Tonkawa Indians roamed the plains.

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This Day in History… December 28, 1856

Birth of Woodrow Wilson 

U.S. #623 was based on a photo from Wilson’s wife, likely taken during his second term.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born December 28, 1856, in Staunton, Virginia, the third of four children.

Wilson’s family fiercely defended the Confederate cause, but also set up a Sunday school for their slaves. Reportedly, one of Wilson’s earliest memories was hearing Robert E. Lee say that Abraham Lincoln had been elected and that war was coming.

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This Day in History… December 27, 1657

Flushing Remonstrance 

U.S. #1099 was issued on the 300th anniversary of the Flushing Remonstrance.

On December 27, 1657, a group of 30 people in Vlishing, New Netherland, signed the Flushing Remonstrance, a plea for religious freedom.

Vlissengen or Vlishing (present-day Flushing in Queens, New York) was settled in the Dutch colony of New Netherland in 1645. The colony’s governor, Willem Kieft, granted the English settlers there the same religious freedoms as Holland, which was one of the most religiously tolerant European countries.

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This Day in History… December 26, 1972

Death of former President Harry Truman 

U.S. #1862 from the Great Americans series.

On December 26, 1972, America’s 33rd president, Harry S. Truman, died.

Harry S. Truman was born in Missouri on May 8, 1884. After graduating from high school, he worked as a clerk for a railroad construction company and two banks. In 1906, he returned to his family farm to help his father and joined the Missouri National Guard. When the U.S. entered World War I, Truman organized a regiment that was called into service. He became a captain, and his unit was sent to France where it saw heavy fighting.

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