February 2017

This Day in History… February 22, 1732

Happy Birthday George Washington

U.S. #2 – For his contributions to our nation, Washington was honored on America’s second postage stamp.

Our first President, George Washington, was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

Washington’s father died when he was young, halting his plans to study abroad. George’s older half-brother and mentor, Lawrence, took him under his wing and taught him how to farm and survey land. In 1749, George joined a party that explored and surveyed the land west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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This Day in History… February 21, 1828

First Native American Newspaper 

U.S. #1859 from the Great Americans series.

On February 21, 1828, the first Native American newspaper, utilizing Sequoyah’s Cherokee Syllabary, was printed.

Sequoyah was born around 1770 into a family respected for its knowledge of Cherokee tribal traditions. Accounts of Sequoyah’s early life vary, but it is known that by 1809, he was a silversmith in present-day Alabama.

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This Day in History… February 20, 1962

First American Orbit of Earth 

U.S. #1193 was produced in secrecy to coincide with Glenn’s flight.

On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth aboard his Friendship 7 capsule.

Born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio, John Glenn was enrolled in college when World War II began. Because he had earned his private pilot’s license, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He wasn’t called up quickly, so he joined the Navy in March 1942. He was reassigned to the Marines in 1943 and flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific.

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This Day in History… February 19, 1936

Death of Billy Mitchell 

U.S. #3330 pictures Mitchell and his personal SPAD XVI biplane.

On February 19, 1936, Billy Mitchell, often considered the father of the United States Air Force, died in New York City.

William Lendrum “Billy” Mitchell was born on December 29, 1879, in Nice, France. Mitchell was the son of a wealthy Wisconsin family with political connections. His grandfather had been the wealthiest man in Wisconsin during his lifetime and founded the Milwaukee Road railroad.

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This Day in History… February 18, 1930

Pluto Discovered 

U.S. #5077 features a composite of four images taken by the New Horizons spacecraft.

On February 18, 1930, Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto after nearly a year of searching.

By the 1840s, astronomers had discovered the first seven planets from the sun. But around that time, mathematician Urbain Le Verrier predicted the location of then-undiscovered Neptune after studying irregularities in Uranus’ orbit. His predictions were correct and Neptune was discovered in 1846.

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This Day in History… February 17, 1913

Opening of the Armory Art Show 

U.S. #3183d pictures viewers looking at Nude Descending a Staircase.

On February 17, 1913, the Armory Show opened at the 69th Regimental Armory in New York City, giving many in the public their first exposure to Modern Art.

In December 1911, a group that eventually became known as the Association of American Painters and Sculptors (AAPS) met to talk about the nation’s art scene. Among the topics, they discussed the possibility of exhibiting American and foreign art that was often ignored or rejected by mainstream exhibitions.

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