March 2019

This Day in History… March 7, 1849

Birth of Luther Burbank 

US #876 was issued in Santa Rosa, California.  Click image to order.

Luther A. Burbank was born on March 7, 1849, in Lancaster, Massachusetts.

The thirteenth of eighteen children, Burbank spent his childhood on his family farm enjoying his mother’s large garden.  He only received a high school education but would go on to become a pioneer in agricultural science.

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This Day in History… March 6, 1862

Battle of Pea Ridge 

US #782 was issued for Arkansas’ 100th anniversary of statehood. Click image to use.

On March 6, 1862, the largest fight in the Trans-Mississippi Theater, the Battle of Pea Ridge, began.

The Union Army of the Southwest had pushed the Confederates out of Missouri and were pursuing them into Arkansas in early 1862.  Major General Earl Van Dorn had recently taken command of the Southern Army of the West and was determined to regain lost ground.  In a letter to his wife, he wrote of his goals saying, “I must have St. Louis.”

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This Day in History… March 5, 1946

Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech 

US #1264 was issued in Fulton, Missouri, the site of this speech.  Click image to order.

On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill gave one of his most famous speeches, in which he used the phrase, “iron curtain” to describe the communist boundary in Europe.

As much of the world celebrated the fall of the Nazi regime in 1945, Churchill grew concerned about the Soviet Union’s growing influence and resolved that we must “impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire.”  That July, he lost his bid for re-election as prime minister but was already working with the king on a new national government.

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This Day in History… March 4, 1924

“Happy Birthday to You”

US #2272 was part of the 1987 Special Occasions set.  Click image to order. 

On March 4, 1924, the song and melody of “Happy Birthday to You” were printed in a songbook.  One of the world’s most famous songs, it has long been the center of controversy over ownership and copyright status for years.

According to tradition, the tune we all know today as “Happy Birthday” was originally written in the late 1800s as “Good Morning to All.”  Sisters Patty and Mildred Hill claimed they wrote the song for kindergarteners in Louisville, Kentucky.

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This Day in History… March 3, 1845

Star Routes

US #2125 was issued at a meeting of the National Star Route Collectors’ Association. Click image to order.

On March 3, 1845, a congressional act established star routes.  Businesses would carry mail under contract with the post office on these postal routes.

In America’s early history, post riders on horseback carried mail between post offices.  In 1785, the continental congress gave the postmaster general permission to give mail transportation contracts to stagecoach operators.  Though the costs were high and efficiency sometimes lower, stagecoaches were preferred over horseback transportation.

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This Day in History… March 2, 1899

Mount Rainier National Park

US #742 from the 1934 National Parks Issue. Click image to order.

On March 2, 1899, William McKinley signed a bill establishing Mount Rainier National Park.

Mount Rainier was formed by volcanic activity.  In the prehistoric past, debris flowing from Mount Rainier’s volcano formed the lands east of Tacoma and south of Seattle.  At 14,411 feet, it’s the highest peak in the Cascade Range.

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