July 2018

This Day in History… July 25, 1909

First Flight Across the English Channel

Hungary #C59 from an issue honoring inventors and explorers.

On July 25, 1909, Louis Blériot became the first person to fly across the English Channel.

Born in Cambrai, France on July 1, 1872, Blériot was the first of five children.  At the age of 10, he attended the Institute of Notre Dame in Cambrai, where he often won prizes for his engineering drawings.

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This Day in History… July 24, 1897

Happy Birthday Amelia Earhart 

US #C68 was issued on Earhart’s 66th birthday.

Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison Kansas.

Earhart had a taste for adventure from a young age. In 1904, she saw a roller coaster for the first time during a family trip to St. Louis.   When she returned home, Earhart and an uncle built a homemade version and attached it to the roof of a shed. Though Amelia ended up bruised and the wooden box she rode in was destroyed, she exclaimed, “It’s just like flying!”

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This Day in History… July 23, 1930

Death of Glenn Curtiss

US #C100 – 1980 Glenn Curtiss airmail stamp.

Aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss died on July 23, 1930, in Buffalo, New York.

Glenn Hammond Curtiss was born on May 21, 1878, in Hammondsport, New York.  He became interested in bicycles as a young man and was a champion racer, riding bikes he had designed and built.

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This Day in History… July 22, 1898

Birth of Alexander Calder

US #3198-3203 – This strip of five stamps was issued for Calder’s 100th birthday in 1998.

Alexander Calder was born on July 22, 1898, in Lawnton, Pennsylvania.  There’s been some confusion over the years though, as members of his family suggest he was born one month later, on August 22.

Calder came from a family of artists – his father and grandfather produced numerous sculptures in Philadelphia and his mother was a portrait painter.  Calder produced his first sculpture in 1902 when he was four years old.

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This Day in History… July 21, 1944

Battle of Guam 

US #GM2 – Overprinted Guam Guard Mail stamp from 1930.

On July 21, 1944, US troops landed on Guam, initiating a three-week battle to recapture the island.

The largest of the Mariana Islands, Guam had been a United States possession since its capture from Spain in 1898.  However, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces took the island on December 10, 1941.

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This Day in History… July 20, 1976

Viking I Lands on Mars

US #1759 was issued on the 2nd anniversary of Viking I’s Mars landing.

On July 20, 1976, Viking I became the first man-made object to land on Mars.

As early as 1966, officials recommended that research objectives in the post-Apollo era focus on the unmanned exploration of Mars.  The Viking 1 mission – with a landing planned to coincide with the nation’s July 4, 1976, Bicentennial celebration – set off to accomplish that goal on August 20, 1975.

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