This Day in History

This Day in History… September 2, 1911

Birth of Romare Bearden

US #4566-69 – Issued for Bearden’s 100th Birthday

Artist Romare Bearden was born September 2, 1911, in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Bearden’s family moved to New York City’s Harlem to escape the restrictive Jim Crow laws in the South.  Bearden’s mother was a newspaper editor, and hosted well-known artists like jazz musician Duke Ellington and poet Langston Hughes.  This early exposure led to Bearden’s lifelong interest in jazz and literature.

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This Day in History… September 1, 1866

Beer Stamps 

US #REA3 from the first issue of Beer stamps in 1866.

On September 1, 1866, the first US Beer stamps were issued.

While duties, tariffs, and state taxes on beer had been instituted decades earlier, the first large-scale federal tax on beer was created on September 1, 1862.  The tax was created to help fund the Union Army for the Civil War.  During those four years, officials would collect the $1 per barrel tax in cash.

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This Day in History… August 31, 1957

Champions of Liberty Series 

US #1096 was issued on Magsaysay’s 50th birthday.  Click the image for several FDC options.

On August 31, 1957, the US Post Office issued an 8¢ stamp honoring Ramon Magsaysay, the first stamp in a new Champions of Liberty Series.

The stamp was issued just five months after Magsaysay, the seventh President of the Philippines, had died in a plane crash.  Magsaysay’s administration was noted for its freedom from corruption.  Under his direction, the Philippines joined the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.  The Magsaysay stamp was issued on his birthday and was the largest US postage stamp issued up to that time.

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This Day in History… August 30, 1918

Happy Birthday, Ted Williams

Baseball legend Theodore Samuel Williams was born on August 30, 1918, in San Diego, California. 

Williams first learned to throw a baseball when he was eight.  His uncle Saul taught him.  Saul had been a semi-professional player who once played against Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe Gordon in an exhibition game. 

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This Day in History… August 29, 1861

Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries 

US #2471 – The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was first built in 1845.  Part of the East Coast Lighthouses set.

On August 29, 1861, the first combined Union Army and Navy battle of the Civil War concluded at the Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries.

In the 19th century, trading vessels filled with goods from the Caribbean caught the Gulf Stream to travel North and sailed past the North Carolina shoreline.  The Outer Banks of North Carolina formed the perfect location to raid ships, and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse served as a lookout tower.  When Northern ships were spotted, raiders hiding in the calm waters of the sound would rush out and capture the ship.  The Confederates realized the importance of protecting this area and built four forts near the deepest inlets.  Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark were built on the most strategic location, Hatteras Inlet.

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This Day in History… August 28, 1830

Tom Thumb Proves the Power of Steam

US #1006 was issued for the 125th anniversary of the B&O Railroad charter.  It pictures the Tom Thumb race as well as a streamlined diesel train.

On August 28, 1830, the Tom Thumb steam locomotive impressed railroad officials during an impromptu race.

In the early days of the railroads, most railroads were generally tracks on roads.  Horses would pull wagons with special wheels designed to ride on the rails.  The first steam-powered locomotives were built in England and shipped to the US.  However, Americans soon began trying to develop their own steam locomotives.

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