July 2016

This Day in History… July 31, 1971

Astronauts Take Lunar Rover for First Drive on the Moon

U.S. #1434-35 were issued to coincide with the flight of Apollo XV and to mark the 10th anniversary Alan Shepard becoming the first American in space.

On July 31, 1971, U.S. Astronauts David Scott and James Irwin became the first humans to drive on the moon.

Over a decade before the moon landing, scientists speculated about the possibility of traveling the lunar surface. As early as 1952, Wernher von Braun wrote published a series of articles titled “Man Will Conquer Space Soon!” which discussed the logistics of a six-week stay on the moon. By the mid 1960s, von Braun, then director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, revealed that research had already begun for lunar vehicles.

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This Day in History… July 30, 1956

“In God We Trust” Made Official U.S. Motto 

U.S. #1035 was issued as part of the Liberty Series.

Although it had appeared on American coins for 92 years, “In God We Trust” didn’t become America’s official motto until July 30, 1956.

It’s roots in American tradition date back to the War of 1812, when Francis Scott Key included the phrase “And this be our motto: In God is our Trust” in his poem that became the national anthem, “Star-spangled Banner.” Fifty years later, as America was embroiled in Civil War, Reverend M.R. Watkinson requested that our coins include a statement recognizing God to “relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism.” He, and many others, wished to show that God sided with Union.

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This Day in History… July 29, 1958

Birth of NASA and Dawn of the Space Age

Item #M11164 – NASA 50th anniversary stamp sheet.

On July 29, 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower passed legislation creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

For centuries, the people of earth have looked to the skies, curious about space and other worlds. The invention of the telescope in the 17th century enabled humans to take a closer look at the stars and gain a better understanding of the universe beyond our planet.

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This Day in History… July 28, 1929

Happy Birthday Jackie Kennedy

Item #M5029 pictures Jackie Kennedy through the years.

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born on July 28, 1929, in Southampton, New York.

Jacqueline, or “Jackie” as she was popularly known, enjoyed a relatively privileged childhood, due to her father’s success as a stockbroker on Wall Street. She learned to ride a horse when she was just a year old and by age 11 had already won several national championships. A private girl from a young age, Jackie became somewhat introverted when her parents divorced. And when her mother remarried, she got three new stepsiblings.

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This Day in History… July 27, 1789

Department of State Established 

U.S. #O68 – Department of State Official Mail stamp.

On July 27, 1789, the Department of Foreign Affairs was created, which was later renamed the Department of State.

When the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788, it specified that the President would be responsible for the country’s foreign relations. President George Washington soon realized he’d need help and requested the creation of a new executive department to help handle foreign affairs.

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This Day in History… July 26, 1775

Ben Franklin Appointed America’s First Postmaster General 

U.S. #1 – Franklin is often considered the father of the American Postal Service.

On July 26, 1775, former deputy postmaster general of the American colonies, Ben Franklin, was made the first postmaster general of the United States.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and only attended school until the age of 10. He was an avid reader and quick learner. As a polymath (a person with expertise in a large number of areas), Franklin would eventually become an accomplished author, printer, freemason, scientist, inventor, activist, and statesman.

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