November 2016

This Day in History… November 24, 1867

Happy Birthday Scott Joplin 

U.S. #2044 – Joplin was the sixth honoree in the Black Heritage Series.

U.S. #2044 – Joplin was the sixth honoree in the Black Heritage Series.

While Scott Joplin’s exact birthdate is unknown, it’s often considered to be November 24, 1867, as shown on his tombstone. And he was reportedly born in Texarkana, Texas. Other reports suggest he was born between late 1867 and early 1868 in Linden, Texas.

Joplin was the second of six children born to a former slave and free-born African American woman from Kentucky. His father worked on railroads while his mother was a cleaner, but both were also talented musicians. Joplin’s father played the violin and his mother sang and played the banjo. Because of this, Joplin received some musical training as a child and enjoyed playing the piano while his mother cleaned.

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This Day in History… November 23, 1889

Debut of World’s First Jukebox 

U.S. #2911 was issued to pay the postage for the first-class, presort letter rate.

U.S. #2911 was issued to pay the postage for the first-class, presort letter rate.

On November 23, 1889, the world’s first jukebox was displayed and used at the Palais Royal Saloon in San Francisco, California.

In the early and mid-1800s, coin-operated music boxes and player pianos grew increasingly popular. Requiring a coin payment, these music devices used paper rolls, metal disks, or metal cylinders to play music on one or more instruments inside the machine.

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This Day in History… November 22, 1935

China Clipper Inaugurates Trans-Pacific Airmail

U.S. #C20 was the first U.S. stamp to include the month and date it was issued in tis design (November 1935).

U.S. #C20 was the first U.S. stamp to include the month and date it was issued in its design (November 1935).

On November 22, 1935, the China Clipper made its first airmail voyage across the Pacific Ocean.

Aviation in the 1920s developed at an incredible pace. Instead of the fragile wood and fabric of early biplanes, aircraft were soon being constructed of sturdy, streamlined metal propelled by increasingly light and powerful motors. As planes became more safe and reliable, people began to realize the amazing potential of flight.

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This Day in History… November 20, 1943

Battle of Tarawa Begins

U.S. #2765j from the WWII: Turning the Tide sheet.

U.S. #2765j from the WWII: Turning the Tide sheet.

On November 20, 1943, U.S. troops launched the Battle of Tarawa, the first American offensive in the central Pacific region of World War II.

As the Allied forces slowly gained control in Europe and Northern Africa, they turned their attention to winning the Battle of the Pacific. Admiral Chester A. Nimitz developed a new strategy in which the Allies would hop from island to island across the Central Pacific.

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This Day in History… November 21, 1964

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Opens 

U.S. #1258 was issued on the day the bridge opened.

U.S. #1258 was issued on the day the bridge opened.

On November 21, 1964, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge first opened to traffic.

Since 1888, New Yorkers looked for an easier way to cross the Narrows, the tidal strait between the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn. These earliest discussions called for a tunnel, but were scrapped when talk of a bridge arose. The bridge idea was then dropped and they returned to the idea of a tunnel. In fact, they began digging tunnels but ultimately abandoned those too. However, some of those tunnels still remain today.

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This Day in History… November 19, 1752

Happy Birthday George Rogers Clark

U.S. #651 pictures Frederick C. Yohn’s Surrender of Fort Sackville.

U.S. #651 pictures Frederick C. Yohn’s Surrender of Fort Sackville.

On November 19, 1752, George Rogers Clark was born in Albemarle County, Virginia.

Rogers was the second of ten children, five of whom would go on to become officers during the Revolutionary War. His youngest brother William was too young to fight in the war, but would go on to gain fame as a leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Continue reading

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