December 2018

This Day in History… December 7, 1941

“A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

US #2559i from the 1941: World at War stamp sheet.

On December 7, 1941, Japanese bombers attacked American troops at Pearl Harbor, catapulting the US into World War II.

The possibility of war between America and Japan had been a concern since the 1920s and was made worse following Japan’s invasion of Manchuria in 1931.  In the coming years, Japanese expansion into China and attacks on US vessels led America and its Allies to lend their support to China, further damaging relations with Japan.  Once the US halted oil exports to Japan, the Japanese saw this as an act of aggression and began planning to invade the Dutch East Indies.

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This Day in History… December 6, 1964

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

US #4949a were issued in 2014 for the 50th anniversary of the TV special and 75th anniversary of the original story.

On December 6, 1964, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first premiered on television.

In the 1930s, Chicago-based retail store Montgomery Ward bought and gave away coloring books to children every year for Christmas.  In 1939, they decided it would be easier to create their own book and tasked copywriter Robert May with crafting a fun story for their new book.

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This Day in History… December 5, 1775

The Knox Expedition 

US #1851 was issued on Knox’s 235th birthday.

On December 5, 1775, Continental Army Colonel Henry Knox reached Fort Ticonderoga in preparation for his “noble train of artillery.”

Following the battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, Benedict Arnold recommended that the Americans capture Fort Ticonderoga from the British.  At the time, Boston was under siege, and Ticonderoga had a substantial store of heavy weapons.

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This Day in History… December 4, 1674

First Building in Chicago

US #285 pictures Father Jacques Marquette preaching to a group of Native Americans.

On December 4, 1674, Father Marquette erected the first building in what would later become Chicago.

Born in France in 1637, Jacques Marquette joined the Jesuits at the age of 17.  He spent several years working and studying in France before being sent to New France as a missionary to the Indian population.

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This Day in History… December 3, 1860

Birth of John B. Moore 

US #1295 was issued on Moore’s 106th birthday.

Judge and lawyer John Bassett Moore was born on December 3, 1860, in Smyrna, Delaware.

Moore’s father was a well-known doctor in the community and moved the family to Felton, where he helped to found the Felton Institute and Classical Seminary.  The younger Moore would attend the seminary before begin admitted to the University of Virginia in 1877.

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This Day in History… December 2, 1823

The Monroe Doctrine

US #325 commemorates Monroe’s role in acquiring the Louisiana Territory.

On December 2, 1823, President James Monroe introduced the foreign policy doctrine that bears his name.

The last President of the “Virginia Dynasty” (four out of the first five Presidents were from Virginia), James Monroe was a levelheaded and respected force throughout his political career. He participated in the ratification of the US Constitution, negotiated the Louisiana Purchase, and implemented the Missouri Compromise. He diligently worked to maintain peace and unity, and to keep America free from foreign oppression.

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