January 2018

This Day in History… January 7, 1891

Birth of Zora Neale Hurston

U.S. #3748 – Hurston was the 19th honoree in the Literary Arts Series.

Novelist and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston was born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama.

When she was just three years old, Hurston’s family moved to Eatonville, Florida, one of the first incorporated all-African American towns in the US. Hurston always reflected on Eatonville affectionately and set many of her stories there as African Americans could live as they wanted.

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This Day in History… January 6, 1878

Birth of Carl Sandburg 

U.S. #1731 was issued on Sandburg’s 100th birthday in his hometown.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sandburg was born on January 6, 1878, in Galesburg, Illinois.

When he was 13, Sandburg dropped out of school and began driving a milk wagon. Over the next few years, he attended West Point for two weeks and worked several jobs, including bricklayer, farm laborer, hotel servant, and coal-heaver.

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This Day in History… January 5, 1943

Death of George Washington Carver 

U.S. #953 was issued on the 5th anniversary of Carver’s death.

Botanist and inventor George Washington Carver died on January 5, 1943, in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Carver was born into slavery in the early 1860s in Diamond Grove, Missouri.  His exact birth date is unknown.  One night while the Civil War still raged, night raiders kidnapped the week-old Carver, his mother, and sister.  His family’s owner, Moses Carver, was only able to find and save George and would raise him and his brother as his own children.

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This Day in History… January 4, 1754

Founding of Columbia University

U.S. #1029 was issued on the school’s 200th anniversary.

On January 4, 1754, King’s College (later Columbia University) was founded in New York.

Lewis Morris was one of the first people to suggest establishing a college in the Province of New York in 1704. He suggested a plot of land given to Trinity Church by Lord Cornburry known as King’s Farm. No steps would be taken for nearly 50 years.

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This Day in History… January 3, 1777

Battle of Princeton

U.S. #1704 was issued on the 200th anniversary of the battle.

On January 3, 1777, George Washington earned a major victory at Princeton, New Jersey.

In late December 1776, General George Washington famously led his men across the Delaware River to capture the town of Trenton, New Jersey.  To retaliate, British General Lord Cornwallis assembled a force of over 9,000 men at nearby Princeton.

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This Day in History… January 2, 1952

Betsy Ross Stamp

U.S. #1004 was issued on this day in 1952.

On January 2, 1952, the US Post Office Department issued a commemorative stamp honoring Betsy Ross, one day after her 200th birthday.

Elizabeth Griscom “Betsy” Ross was born on January 1, 1752, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The eighth of seventeen children, Betsy was raised in a Quaker household and learned to sew from her great-aunt.

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