December 2019

This Day in History… December 13, 1636

 

National Guard Founded

US #1017 – The National Guard is America’s oldest military organization, with its roots dating back to 1636. Click the image to order.

The National Guard traces its roots to the Massachusetts Bay Colony on December 13, 1636.

Following the success of the Pilgrims in the early 1620s, more English Puritans wished to move to the New World.  In 1630, about 1,000 Puritans voyaged to America and settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Over time, the colonists began to clash with some of the Native Americans, particularly the Pequot nation.  As the colonies grew, they established their own scattered militias, with no real connection to each other.

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This Day in History… December 12, 1928

The International Civil Aeronautics Conference

US #649 pictures the Wright brothers’ plane over Washington, DC.

On December 12, 1928, the International Civil Aeronautics Conference opened in Washington, DC.

President Calvin Coolidge is credited with the idea for the conference.  A year earlier he had written a note to the Conference of the Aeronautical Industry that was meeting in Washington, DC.  He suggested that they hold an international conference in the nation’s capital the following year to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first powered flight.  He also thought the conference could help establish America as a world leader in aviation. 

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This Day in History… December 11, 1882

Birth of Fiorello La Guardia 

U.S. #1397 paid the domestic air postcard rate and foreign surface postcard rate.

US #1397 paid the domestic air postcard rate and foreign surface postcard rate.

Fiorello (Italian for “little flower”) La Guardia, was born December 11, 1882, in Greenwich Village, New York.

La Guardia’s family moved to Arizona when his father got a job as a bandmaster at Fort Whipple in the US Army.  When his father was discharged in 1898, the family moved to Trieste.

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This Day in History… December 10, 1830

Birth of Emily Dickinson

US #1436 – Dickinson was the second honoree in the American Poets Series. Click the image to order.

Poet Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Dickinson was born into a prominent, but not a wealthy family.  Her grandfather had helped found Amherst College and her father was a lawyer.  As a child, Dickinson was well behaved and displayed a talent for music, especially the piano. 

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This Day in History… December 9, 1848

Birth of Joel Chandler Harris 

US #980 was issued on Harris’ 100th birthday.

Author Joel Chandler Harris was born on December 9, 1848, in Eatonton, Georgia.

Harris never knew his father and was raised by his mother who worked as a seamstress and gardener to support herself.  She instilled Harris with a love of literature from a young age.  He once said that, “My desire to write—to give expression to my thoughts—grew out of hearing my mother read The Vicar of Wakefield.”

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This Day in History… December 8, 1765

Birth of Eli Whitney

US #889 from the 1940 Famous Americans Series. Click the image to order.

Eli Whitney was born on December 8, 1765, in Westborough, Province of Massachusetts Bay. 

Whitney was the son of a farmer and was a talented mechanic and inventor from an early age.  As a child, he built a nail forge and a violin, among other things.  After graduating from Yale College in 1792, he hoped to study to become a lawyer, but needed money.  Instead, he took a job as a private tutor on the Georgia plantation of Catherine Greene (widow of Revolutionary General Nathanael Greene).

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