This Day in History

This Day in History… August 29, 1861

Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries 

US #2471 – The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was first built in 1845.

On August 28, 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 for raiding ships during the Civil War, and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse served as a lookout tower.  When Northern ships were spotted, raiders hiding in the calm waters of the Sound rushed out and captured 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.  Though Americans soon began trying to develop their own steam locomotives.

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This Day in History… August 27, 1918

Battle of Ambos Nogales 

US #1157 was a joint-issue with Mexico honoring its independence from Spain.

On August 27, 1918, US and Mexican forces engaged in the Battle of Ambos Nogales, amid the tensions of the Mexican Revolution, World War I, and the Border War.

Along the border of the US and Mexico, International Street divided Ambos (“Both”) Nogales.  To the north was Nogales, Arizona, and to the south was Nogales, Sonora. In 1918, residents of both towns generally got along and both benefitted from the smuggling of cigars, liquor, firearms, and cattle.

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This Day in History… August 26, 1906

Birth of Albert Sabin 

US #3435 from the Distinguished Americans series.

Albert Saperstein was born on August 26, 1906, in Białystok, Russian Empire (present-day Poland).

In 1921, Saperstein’s family moved to the United States and in 1930 he became a US citizen.  At that time he also changed his name to Sabin and adopted the middle name, Bruce.

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This Day in History… August 25, 1944

Red Ball Express

US #2838h from the 1944: Road to Victory sheet.

On August 25, 1944, the Red Ball Express truck convoy system opened to help rush supplies to soldiers at the front.

The term “Red Ball” referred to express cargo service, and was put into use around 1892 by the Santa Fe railroad.  They used the phrase in reference to express shipping of priority items and perishable goods.  Red circles identified the trains and tracks and the term grew to be used extensively by the 1920s.

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This Day in History… August 24, 1935

Potato Stamps 

US #RI1 was issued to show the tax of ¾¢ had been paid for a pound of potatoes.

On August 24, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Potato Control Law, which led to the creation of short-lived Potato stamps.

The Potato Control Act was an amendment of the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA).  The AAA had been passed in 1933 by President Roosevelt to help boost agricultural prices by decreasing surpluses.  The AAA also created the Agricultural Adjustment Administration to oversee the grants given to farmers.

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