March 2017

This Day in History… March 25, 1867

Birth of Arturo Toscanini 

U.S. #2411 was dedicated at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Conductor Arturo Toscanini was born on March 25, 1867, in Parma, Italy.

Talented from a young age, Toscanini earned a scholarship to the local music conservatory where he studied cello. Then in 1886 he joined the orchestra of a touring opera company.

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This Day in History… March 24, 1834

Birth of John Wesley Powell 

U.S. #1374 was issued in Page, Arizona, near the lake named after Powell.

Soldier, geologist, and explorer John Wesley Powell was born on March 24, 1834, in Mount Morris, New York.

When he was a child, Powell’s family moved to Ohio before settling in Illinois. In his teens and early 20s Powell explored the Mississippi River Valley and walked across Wisconsin for four months.   Powell attended college for several years, while also teaching, but didn’t earn his degree. By 1860, he realized that America was destined for war and began studying military science and engineering.

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This Day in History… March 23, 1909

Teddy Roosevelt Departs for African Safari 

U.S. #1039 from the Liberty Series.

On March 23, 1909, former president Teddy Roosevelt set sail from New York City for a joint expedition with the Smithsonian Institution.

Roosevelt’s term as president ended on March 4, 1909. At 50 years old, he was America’s youngest former president. Roosevelt was anxious to take a break from politics and get out of Washington, D.C. At the time, the Smithsonian was building what would become the Museum of Natural History and would need exhibits. Roosevelt, ever a fan of natural history, decided to go on an African safari sponsored by the museum to collect specimens.

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This Day in History… March 22, 1820

Death of Stephen Decatur

U.S. #791 pictures Decatur and his friend Thomas MacDonough as well as the USS Saratoga.

On Mach 22, 1820, Naval hero Stephen Decatur was killed in duel at the hands of a former friend.

Stephen Decatur, Jr., was born on January 5, 1779, in Sinepuxent, Maryland. His family had fled their home in Philadelphia months before he was born because of the British occupation, but were able to return shortly after. When he developed a severe case of whooping cough, Decatur was sent on a merchant voyage to Europe with his father, as the salty sea air was considered the cure. He returned home not only completely cured of the cough, but also determined to become a sailor.

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This Day in History… March 21, 1891

Death of General Joseph E. Johnston 

U.S. #2975m from the 1995 Civil War stamp sheet.

U.S. Army and Confederate General Joseph E. Johnson died on March 21, 1891.

Johnston was born on February 3, 1807, in Farmville, Virginia. He was named for Major Joseph Eggleston, the Revolutionary War captain his father once served with under the command of “Lighthorse Harry” Henry Lee. His great-uncle was Patrick Henry.

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This Day in History… March 20, 1811

Birth of George C. Bingham 

U.S. #3236f from the Four Centuries of American Art sheet.

Artist and politician George Caleb Bingham was born on March 20, 1811, in Augusta County, Virginia.

When he was eight years old, Bingham and his family moved to Franklin, Missouri, where he spent his childhood. Bingham developed an early love for painting and was largely self-taught. When he was nine he met portrait artist Chester Harding, which was his first significant contact with the art world, and it had a major impact on his life and future career.

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