December 2019

This Day in History… December 19, 1915

Birth of Edith Piaf 

US #4692 pictures an undated photo of Piaf on a Paris stage.

Singer, songwriter, and actress Édith Giovanna Gassion, better known as Édith Piaf was born on December 19, 1915, in Belleville, Paris, France.

The future star was named after Edith Cavell, a World War I nurse that had helped French soldiers escape Germany.  She took the name Piaf (slang for sparrow) in her 20s.

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This Day in History… December 18, 1966

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

US #3835 pictures Dr. Seuss with several of his characters, including the Grinch tugging at his tie.

On December 18, 1966, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! premiered on TV.

Dr. Seuss’ earliest story involving the Grinch was a 32-line poem called “The Hoobub and the Grinch,” which appeared in the May 1955 edition of Redbook magazine.  Two years later, Seuss began writing How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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This Day in History… December 17, 1807

Birth of John Greenleaf Whittier 

US #865 from the Famous American Poets issue.  Click the image to order.

John Greenleaf Whittier was born on December 17, 1807, at his family’s rural homestead in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Whittier grew up on his family’s farm, which saw frequent visitors over the years.  The farm wasn’t very profitable and only provided the family with enough to sustain their lives.  Whittier suffered from poor health from the time he was a child and never really enjoyed the hard labor of farm life.

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This Day in History… December 16, 1944

the Battle of the Bulge

US #2838j – The only stamp in all of the US WWII sheets to picture a winter scene. Click the image to order.

On December 16, 1944, the Battle of the Bulge began.

On July 25, 1944, Allied troops broke through German lines at Saint-Lo, France, and a month later, Paris was liberated after four long years of Nazi occupation.  Driving forward, General George S. Patton pushed eastward toward the Rhine River, while British commander Bernard Montgomery swept into Belgium, capturing Antwerp on September 4th.  By the late fall, the US and British forces had managed to drive the Germans back to their own borders.
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This Day in History… December 15, 1936

Army & Navy Issue

US #790 was issued on this day in 1936.

On December 15, 1936, the first of 10 stamps in the Army/Navy Set was issued.

The idea for a set of stamps honoring America’s military heroes wasn’t a new one.  Years earlier, President Theodore Roosevelt had suggested such a series of stamps, but nothing was done during his term.

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This Day in History… December 14, 1962

Mariner 2 Flies By Venus

US #2569 honors the Mariner 2 mission to Venus.

On December 14, 1962, Mariner 2 became the first spacecraft to fly by Venus.

Identical to Mariner 1, which had launched a month earlier, Mariner 2 launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on August 27, 1962.  On its journey to Venus, Mariner 2 experienced some issues, but most were remotely correctable or were corrected by the probe itself.

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