January 2017

This Day in History… January 31, 1919

Happy Birthday Jackie Robinson

U.S. #2016 – Robinson was the 5th honoree in the Black Heritage series.

Jackie Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia.

The grandson of a slave, Jack Roosevelt Robinson was the youngest of five children raised by a single mother. He excelled at sports from a young age, playing football, basketball, track, and baseball at Pasadena Junior College. In 1938, he was honored as the region’s Most Valuable Player in baseball.

Robinson’s older brother Matthew was also an athlete, earning the silver medal at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. He encouraged his younger brother to follow his love of sports.

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This Day in History… January 30, 1882

Happy Birthday Franklin Roosevelt 

U.S. #1284 from the Prominent Americans series.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882, in Hyde Park, New York.

Sometimes called the stamp-collecting president, Roosevelt began collecting stamps at the age of 10. Roosevelt credited the hobby with helping him learn geography, partial recovery from polio, and managing the stress of being Commander in Chief. Even as war raged, he managed to spend some time with his collection every day. Over time, he built a collection of 1.25 million stamps.

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This Day in History… January 29, 1880

Happy Birthday W.C. Fields 

U.S. #1803 – Fields was the fourth honoree in the Performing Arts series.

William Claude Dukenfield (better known as W. C. Fields) was born on January 29, 1880, in Darby, Pennsylvania.

The oldest child of a Civil War veteran, Fields reportedly didn’t get along with his father, and frequently ran away from home as early as nine years old.   He received occasional schooling and worked for a time selling produce from a wagon with his father. He also worked in a department store and oyster house.

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This Day in History… January 28, 1945

Burma Road Reopens

U.S. #2559a from the 1941: a World War stamp sheet.

On January 28, 1945, the Burma Road, linking Burma with the southwest of China, was reopened.

The Burma Road was originally built between 1937 and 1938, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The 717-mile mountain road was constructed by some 200,000 Burmese and Chinese laborers to allow the transport of supplies from British-held Burma to China.

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This Day in History… January 27, 1945

Liberation of Auschwitz

U.S. #2981e from the “1945: Victory at Last” World War II sheet.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp, marking the beginning of the end of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust targeted European Jews and other ethnic groups, such as Gypsies, Poles, and Slavs, by the Nazis during World War II. Adolf Hitler considered these groups to be genetically inferior to his “Aryan” master race. Removing the Jews was one of the steps in Hitler’s plan for world domination.

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This Day in History… January 26, 1945

Audie Murphy Earns Medal of Honor

U.S. #3396 from the Distinguished Soldiers set.

On January 26, 1945, Audie Murphy single-handedly held off an entire company of German soldiers at the Colmar Pocket, an action that earned him the Medal of Honor.

Born in Texas on June 20, 1925, Audie Murphy dropped out of school in fifth grade to pick cotton for a dollar a day to support his family. He was also good with a rifle so he hunted small game to feed the family.

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