December 2016

This Day in History… December 13, 1769

Founding of Dartmouth College 

U.S. #1380 was issued for the 150th anniversary of the Dartmouth College Case.

On December 13, 1769, Dartmouth College received its charter.

The man responsible for the establishment of Dartmouth was Connecticut Congregational minister Eleazar Wheelock. Prior to opening Dartmouth, Wheelock hoped to open a school to train Native Americans to become Christian missionaries. He eventually founded Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1755, but soon needed additional funds to keep the school open.

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This Day in History… December 12, 1787

Pennsylvania Becomes 2nd State 

U.S. #2337 pictures Independence Hall, formerly the State House of Pennsylvania.

On December 12, 1787, Pennsylvania was the second state to ratify the Constitution and be admitted to the Union.

Two major Indian tribes lived in Pennsylvania when the first European explorers arrived – the Algonquian and the Iroquoian.   The Algonquian tribes included the Conoy, Delaware, Nanticoke, and Shawnee. Only one Iroquoian tribe lived in the region, the Susquehannock, who lived along the Susquehanna River.

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This Day in History… December 11, 1946

Founding of UNICEF 

Tunisia #569 was issued for the 25th anniversary of UNICEF.

On December 11, 1946, the United Nations created UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund).

The United Nations itself was established just a year earlier, in October 1945. Shortly after, it created the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) to fight the famine and disease that spread across Europe in the wake of World War II.

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This Day in History… December 10, 1817

Mississippi Becomes 20th State

U.S. #955 pictures Mississippi Territory’s first governor, Winthrop Sargent.

On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was admitted to the Union.

Prior to the arrival of white explorers, many Indian tribes lived in the region that is now Mississippi. The Chickasaw lived in the north, and the Choctaw, Natchez, Biloxi, and Pascagoula inhabited the south. Even today, evidence exists of ancient Indian civilizations. Indian mounds can be seen near Greenville and Lake George. Grand Village is an ancient Natchez Indian site.

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This Day in History… December 9, 1965

Debut of A Charlie Brown Christmas

U.S. #5024 pictures a scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

U.S. #5024 pictures a scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

On December 9, 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired on television.

Peanuts creator Charles Schulz had his first cartoon series published at the age of 25.  Entitled Li’l Folks, it featured a character named Charlie Brown. When the syndicate opted not to renew the strip, Schulz developed a new one, named Peanuts, which debuted on October 2, 1950 in seven newspapers.

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This Day in History… December 8, 1953

Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace”

U.S. #1070 includes a portion of Eisenhower’s speech around the border.

On December 8, 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his “Atoms for Peace” speech, introducing his goal of using nuclear power for peace.

Eight years earlier, World War II came to a close with the detonation of two atomic weapons over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. With the war concluded, America’s top scientists and leaders knew that nuclear weapons and energy would have a tremendous impact on the future.

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