October 2016

This Day in History… October 19, 1960

U.S. Places Embargo on Cuban Goods 

U.S. #CU221 – U.S. #279 stamp overprinted for use in Cuba.

U.S. #CU221 – U.S. #279 stamp overprinted for use in Cuba.

On October 19, 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the first embargo on Cuba.

The U.S. and Cuba have had a long and tumultuous shared history. The Spanish first settled Cuba in 1511. Colonists grew sugar cane and tobacco on large plantations, relying on the forced labor of native peoples.

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This Day in History… October 18, 1898

U.S. Takes Possession of Puerto Rico 

U.S. #801 pictures La Fortaleza (the Fortress), located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

U.S. #801 pictures La Fortaleza (the Fortress), located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

On October 18, 1898, U.S. troops raised the American flag over Puerto Rico, marking the start of U.S. possession of the island.

The Taino tribe, part of the Arawak Indian group which migrated up the Orinoco River in Venezuela and settled on the island sometime around 700 A.D, populated Puerto Rico. The Taino called the land Borinquen, which means “Land of the Noble Lord.”

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This Day in History… October 17, 1777

Burgoyne Surrenders At Saratoga 

U.S. #644 – is based on an 1821 painting by John Trumbull.

U.S. #644 – is based on an 1821 painting by John Trumbull.

On October 17, 1777, British General Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga – one of the major American victories of the American Revolution.

After the first two years of fighting, the British decided to change their strategy. Rather than trying to conquer the New England colonies, they planned to separate them from what they considered to be the more loyal middle and southern colonies. British General John Burgoyne believed New York’s Hudson River Valley was the perfect route for an invasion and developed a three-prong attack.

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This Day in History… October 16, 1978

John Paul II Elected Pope 

Item #M6385 – John Paul II photomosaic.

Item #M6385 – John Paul II photomosaic.

On October 16, 1978, Karol Jozef Wojtyla was selected as Pope of the Catholic Church.

Born Karol Jozef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska, Pope John Paul II was raised in the Polish town of Wadowice. The youngest of three children, Karol was baptized on June 20, 1920. As a student at the Marcin Wadowita prep school he excelled in all of his subjects. His time in elementary and prep school showed that he had a talent for acting, which he seemed to enjoy, performing in various student plays during his years there.

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This Day in History… October 15, 1860

Did an 11-Year-Old Girl Convince Lincoln To Grow A Beard? 

U.S. #1113 – Lincoln received Grace’s letter while sitting for this portrait.

U.S. #1113 – Lincoln received Grace’s letter while sitting for this portrait.

On October 15, 1860, 11-year-old Grace Bedell wrote a letter to Republican presidential nominee Abraham Lincoln. She suggested he grow a beard – which he did shortly after!

During the 1860 election season, young Grace Bedell saw a picture of Abraham Lincoln and told her mother he’d look better with a beard and that she intended to tell him so. And in fact, she did. On October 15, she wrote a letter to Lincoln, telling him she wanted him to be president and that she would vote for him if she could. She also urged him to grow a beard. Grace told Lincoln he would be “much improved in appearance, provided you would cultivate whiskers.”

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This Day in History… October 14, 1926

Happy Birthday Winnie-the-Pooh 

Item #MDS296C marked the 70th anniversary of Pooh’s first book.

Item #MDS296C marked the 70th anniversary of Pooh’s first book.

On October 14, 1926, A.A. Milne published the first collection of Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

The legend of Winnie the Pooh began in 1921, when young Christopher Robin Milne received a stuffed bear for his first birthday. When he got older, Christopher changed the bear’s name from Edward to Winnie the Pooh.

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Posted in October 2016, This Day in History | 6 Comments