July 2016

This Day in History… July 7, 1898

The U.S. Annexes Hawaii 

U.S. #H47 pictures a statue of King Kamehameha I.

On July 7, 1898, President William McKinley signed legislation annexing Hawaii, paving the way for it to become a U.S. state.

Polynesians were the first people to settle the Hawaiian Islands. They journeyed across the Pacific, moving from island to island in giant canoes, and likely reached Hawaii around 2,000 years ago. Another group from Tahiti reached the islands in 1200 A.D. and conquered the earlier settlers. The name Hawaii is either derived from the name of a hero from a Hawaiian legend, Hawai’iloa, or the name of the Polynesian homeland to the west, Hawaiki.

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This Day in History… July 6, 1777

British Recapture Fort Ticonderoga 

U.S. #1071 pictures a map of the fort, Ethan Allen, and artillery.

On July 6, 1777, the British ended a five-day siege and re-took Fort Ticonderoga two years after the Americans had captured it.

Fort Ticonderoga has been nicknamed “The Key to a Continent.” The fort earned this name due to its strategic location on Lake Champlain in New York; it controlled the water route from Lake Champlain to Lake George. In Colonial days, almost everything had to move by water. So this route was essential for any invading force coming into the colonies from Canada. The French built the fort in 1755, but lost it to the British during the French and Indian War.

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This Day in History… July 5, 1801

Happy Birthday David Farragut 

U.S. #311 is one of the scarcest stamps from the Series of 1902-03.

David Glasgow Farragut was born in Campbell’s Station (now Farragut), Tennessee, on July 5, 1801.

Born to a veteran of the Continental Navy, Farragut’s first name was initially James. After his mother died from yellow fever, Farragut’s father sent him to live with friends whom he believed would provide better care in 1808. So Farragut was raised by naval officer David Porter and was foster brother to David Dixon Porter and William D. Porter. In 1812, Farragut adopted David as his first name in honor of his foster father.

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This Day in History… July 4, 1826

Deaths of Two American Presidents 

U.S. #67 was used to pay the registry fee during the Civil War.

On America’s 50th birthday, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, two of the men that helped forge the nation, died hours apart.

Jefferson and Adams first met at the 1775 Continental Congress in Philadelphia. The following year, they were both appointed to the “Committee of Five” to draft what would become the Declaration of Independence. Though Jefferson was the document’s chief author, he referred to Adams as “…the great pillar of support to the Declaration of Independence, and its ablest advocate and champion on the floor of the House.”

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This Day in History… July 3, 1890

Idaho Becomes 43rd State 

U.S. #896 pictures State Capitol at Boise.

On July 3, 1890, Idaho was admitted as America’s 43rd state.

Experts believe American Indians lived in the Idaho region more than 10,000 years ago. Idaho tribes included the Coeur d’Alene, Pend d’Oreille, Kutenai, Paiute, and Bannock. However, the largest tribes were the Nez Percé and Shoshone.

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This Day in History… July 3, 1863

Union Wins the Battle of Gettysburg 

U.S. #1180 was created by the Post Office’s first nationwide contest to design a U.S. postage stamp.

On July 3, 1863, Union forces turned the tide of the Civil War with their victory at the Battle of Gettysburg.

During the summer of 1863, General Robert E. Lee led his Army of Northern Virginia across the border of the Confederacy into Pennsylvania. He hoped to relieve the war-torn citizens of Virginia and knew his men could get food and supplies from the fertile farmlands of the North. Lee’s main objectives were to destroy the Union Army, reduce some of the pressure on Vicksburg caused by the Northern siege, and approach Harrisburg or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The General hoped victories on Union soil would convince Northern politicians to end the war with the Confederacy.

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