October 2016

This Day in History… October 25, 1806

Death of Henry Knox 

U.S. #1851 was issued on Knox’s 235th birthday.

U.S. #1851 was issued on Knox’s 235th birthday.

On October 25, 1806, Henry Knox died near Thomaston, Massachusetts (present-day Maine).

Henry Knox was born on July 25, 1750, in Boston, Massachusetts. After his father abandoned the family, Henry, the family’s oldest son, left school and took a job as a clerk in a bookstore. The shop’s owner, Nicholas Bowes, became a father figure to Knox. But Knox was also caught up in Boston’s street gangs, becoming one of his neighborhood’s best fighters. Then one day he witnessed an impressive military demonstration and decided to join his local artillery company at age 18.

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Posted in October 2016, This Day in History | 21 Comments

This Day in History… October 24, 1861

Completion of Transcontinental Telegraph

U.S. #924 was issued for the centennial of the invention of the telegraph.

U.S. #924 was issued for the centennial of the invention of the telegraph.

On October 24, 1861, Western Union joined the eastern and western lines in Salt Lake City, Utah, completing the Transcontinental Telegraph.

The telegraph was the first device to send messages using electricity. Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872) is credited with inventing the telegraph. He first demonstrated the telegraph in 1837. Morse also created “Morse Code,” a “dot and dash” system used to send information through the telegraph’s clicking sounds. In 1840, Morse received the patent for the telegraph and in 1844; he built an experimental line from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Maryland.

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This Day in History… October 23, 1944

Battle of Leyte Gulf

U.S. #2838i from the 1994 WWII: Road to Victory sheet.

U.S. #2838i from the 1994 WWII: Road to Victory sheet.

On October 23, 1944, the Allies launched the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Pacific.

Ten hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, they invaded the Philippines. Months earlier, General Douglas MacArthur had been called out of his retirement to command U.S. Army forces there. Following that invasion, he and his men retreated to the Bataan Peninsula and later Corregidor.

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This Day in History… October 22, 1879

Edison’s First Successful Test of Electric Light Bulb 

U.S. #654 was issued for the 50th anniversary of Edison’s invention.

U.S. #654 was issued for the 50th anniversary of Edison’s invention.

On October 22, 1879, Thomas Edison staged his first successful test of an electric light bulb with a carbon filament.

Contrary to popular belief, Edison didn’t invent the light bulb. Dozens of inventors over several decades made their own versions, creating the basis for Edison’s light.

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Posted in October 2016, This Day in History | 8 Comments

This Day in History… October 21, 1892

Dedication of World’s Columbian Exposition 

U.S. #2616 was issued for the 1992 World Columbian Stamp Expo.

U.S. #2616 was issued for the 1992 World Columbian Stamp Expo.

On October 21, 1892, Chicago held the dedication ceremony for the World’s Columbian Exposition, which officially opened to the public the following May.

Though the 1876 world’s fair in Philadelphia had been a financial failure, American businessmen wanted to try again. Particularly, they wanted to hold a fair marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in America. While several cities made a bid to host the expo, Chicago was ultimately selected when banker Lyman Gage raised several million dollars in a 24-hour period, putting him ahead of the competition.

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This Day in History… October 20, 1964

Death of Herbert Hoover 

U.S. #1269 was issued on Hoover’s 91st birthday.

U.S. #1269 was issued on Hoover’s 91st birthday.

On October 20, 1964, America’s 31st president, Herbert Hoover died.

Herbert Clark Hoover, the son of a blacksmith, was born on August 10, 1874. His parents and many of his West Branch, Iowa, neighbors were Quakers, and their ideals of hard work, nonviolence, and community cooperation influenced Hoover’s entire life.

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Posted in October 2016, This Day in History | 15 Comments