October 2016

This Day in History… October 13, 1754

Birth of “Molly Pitcher” 

U.S. #646 is an overprinted stamp from the series of 1922-23.

U.S. #646 is an overprinted stamp from the series of 1922-23.

On October 13, 1754, one of the women that inspired the nickname, “Molly Pitcher,” was born near Trenton, New Jersey.

Molly Pitcher was known for bravely supplying water to soldiers during the Revolutionary War, but became famous when her husband fell and she took up his place at a cannon. She wasn’t one specific woman, but believed to have been a folk heroine inspired by a few different women. One of most recognized of these women is Mary Ludwig Hays (sometimes spelled Hayes).

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This Day in History… October 12, 1870

Death of General Robert E. Lee 

U.S. #788 pictures Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Lee’s birthplace, Stratford Hall.

U.S. #788 pictures Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Lee’s birthplace, Stratford Hall.

On October 12, 1870, Confederate General Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Virginia.

Descended from one of Virginia’s first families, Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807, in Stratford Hall, Virginia. He was the son of Revolutionary War hero Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee.

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This Day in History… October 11, 1884

Happy Birthday Eleanor Roosevelt 

U.S. #2105 was issued on Eleanor’s 100th birthday.

U.S. #2105 was issued on Eleanor’s 100th birthday.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884, in New York City, New York.

At an early age, Roosevelt chose to be addressed by her middle name. Even as a child, Roosevelt was mature and acted in an old-fashioned manner, leading her mother to nickname her “Granny.” Though born into a very wealthy family, Roosevelt lost both her parents when she was young and would suffer depression for the rest of her life.

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This Day in History… October 10, 1900

Happy Birthday Helen Hayes 

U.S. #4525 features a painting based on a 1958 photo.

U.S. #4525 features a painting based on a 1958 photo.

Stage and screen actress Helen Hayes was born on October 10, 1900, in Washington, D.C.

Hayes’ grandparents had come to America during the Irish Potato Famine of the mid-1800s. Her mother was an aspiring actress and her father worked a number of odd jobs, including as a clerk at the Washington Patent Office.

From a young age, Hayes was drawn to performing on stage. At the age of five she made her stage debut singing at Washington’s Belasco Theatre (across the street from the White House). By the time she was 10, Hayes had appeared in her first short film, Jean and the Calico Doll.

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This Day in History… October 9, 1874

Creation of the Universal Postal Union 

U.S. #3332 was issued for the 125th anniversary of the U.P.U.

U.S. #3332 was issued for the 125th anniversary of the U.P.U.

On October 9, 1874, some 22 nations met in Bern, Switzerland to form the General Postal Union (later renamed the Universal Postal Union or U.P.U.).

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln’s Postmaster General Montgomery Blair suggested an international conference be held to discuss common postal problems. A conference was held in Paris, and fifteen nations attempted to establish guidelines for an international postal service. Until this time, mail had been regulated by a number of different agreements that were binding only to signing members.

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This Day in History… October 8, 1793

Death of Statesman John Hancock

U.S. #1691-94 was issued to commemorate Hancock’s signing of the Declaration of Independence.

U.S. #1691-94 was issued to commemorate Hancock’s signing of the Declaration of Independence.

On October 8, 1793, statesman, merchant, accused smuggler, and patriot John Hancock died at his home in Boston, Massachusetts.

Hancock was born on January 23, 1737 in Braintree, Massachusetts. As a child, he was a casual acquaintance of John Adams. After his father’s death in 1744, Hancock went to live with a wealthy aunt and uncle who exported rum, whale oil, and fish.

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Posted in October 2016, This Day in History | 7 Comments