February 2018

This Day in History… February 20, 1915

Panama-Pacific Exposition 

US #397 – The first Panama-Pacific commemorative issued in 1913 pictures Vasco Nunez de Balboa, who discovered the Pacific Ocean in 1513.

On February 20, 1915, the Panama-Pacific Exposition opened in San Francisco, California.

As early as 1891, businessmen from San Francisco had wanted to host a world’s fair in their city. They wanted to show the rest of the nation the progress they had made in transforming the small frontier town into a growing city complete with the world’s most active mint.

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This Day in History… February 19, 1473

Birth of Nicolaus Copernicus 

US #1488 was issued for Copernicus’ 500th birthday.

Nicolaus Copernicus was born on February 19, 1473, in Thorn, Poland.

The youngest of four children, Copernicus attended the University of Krakow where he studied math, philosophy, and astronomy. Though he attended for four years, Copernicus didn’t earn a degree.

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This Day in History… February 18, 1848

Birth of Louis Comfort Tiffany 

US #3749 from the American Design series.

Louis Comfort Tiffany was born on February 18, 1848, in New York City, New York.

Tiffany was born to wealthy Charles Lewis Tiffany, owner of Tiffany & Co. jewelry store in Manhattan. Tiffany attended military academies before beginning training as a painter. He studied under George Inness and Samuel Colman and attended the National Academy of Design in New York City before traveling to France.

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This Day in History… February 17, 1801

Jefferson Wins Presidency 

US #95 – 1867 “F” Grill.

On February 17, 1801, Thomas Jefferson was elected president by the US House of Representatives following an electoral tie with Aaron Burr.

After penning the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson served in the Second Continental Congress, the Virginia House of Delegates, as governor of Virginia, and US minister to France.  Upon his return to America after the war, Jefferson became America’s first secretary of state.

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This Day in History… February 16, 1868

Founding of the Elks

US #1342 was issued for the Elks’ 100th anniversary and their “Support Our Youth” service program.

On February 16, 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in New York City.

The story of the Elks begins on November 15, 1867, when British comic singer Charles A. Vivian arrived in New York. That night, he visited the Star Hotel and met piano player Richard R. Steirly. Vivian offered to sing a few songs with Steirly and the two became fast friends.

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This Day in History… February 15, 1926

First Contract Airmail Flight

US #1684 was issued for the 50th anniversary of the first contract airmail flight.

On February 15, 1926, the first contract airmail flight was made between Michigan and Ohio.

American airmail service officially began in 1918. A handful of adventurous young aviators – some who had established themselves as “Flying Aces” during World War I – were eager for the opportunity to fly again, no matter what the circumstances.

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