This Day in History

This Day in History… December 5, 1782

Happy Birthday Martin Van Buren 

U.S. #813 from the Presidential Series.

US #813 from the Presidential Series.

Martin Van Buren was born on December 5, 1782, in Kinderhook, New York.  He was the first president born an American citizen (all of his predecessors were born before the American Revolution).

As a child, Van Buren spent time in his father’s tavern, a popular stop for politicians traveling between Albany and New York City.  His interest in politics sparked at this early age.  At the age of 17, he had his first taste of political life, attending a party convention where he helped attain John Van Ness’ congressional nomination.

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This Day in History… December 4, 1867

Founding of the National Grange 

U.S. #1323 was issued for the 100th anniversary of The Grange.

US #1323 was issued for the 100th anniversary of The Grange.

On December 4, 1867, Oliver Hudson Kelley established the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry.

Born in Boston in 1826, Kelley decided in his 20s to become a farmer.  So in 1849, he took a steamboat to St. Paul, Minnesota.  While the area was mostly one of Indian trade at the time, Kelley recognized that it held great agricultural potential.

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This Day in History… December 3, 1755

Birth of Artist Gilbert Stuart 

U.S. #884 from the Famous Americans series.

US #884 from the Famous Americans series.

On December 3, 1755, Gilbert Stuart was born in Saunderstown, Rhode Island Colony.

Stuart was the third child of Gilbert Stuart, who worked in America’s first colonial snuff mill.  When he was six, Stuart’s family moved to Newport, Rhode Island.  It was there that he first began to show an interest and talent for painting.  In 1770, Stuart met Scottish artist Cosmo Alexander, who served as his first art tutor.   The following year Stuart traveled to Scotland with Alexander but returned to America in 1773 following his tutor’s death.

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This Day in History… December 2, 1863

Statue of Freedom Completed 

US #573 was the only bi-color stamp in the Series of 1922-25.

On December 2, 1863, the Statue of Freedom was placed atop the US Capitol to a 35-gun salute.

Construction on the US Capitol Building began in 1793 when George Washington laid the cornerstone.  The most famous part of the Capitol is the dome.  The first one, erected in 1824, was made of wood covered with copper.  Within 30 years, the building had expanded so much the dome was small in proportion.  When congressmen saw sketches of a proposed cast-iron dome, they immediately appropriated the money for its construction.

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This Day in History… December 1, 1917

War Savings Stamps Issued to Fund WWI

U.S. #WS1 – The first 25¢ War Savings Thrift Stamp.

US #WS1 – The first 25¢ War Savings Thrift Stamp.

On December 1, 1917, first War Savings Stamp available for immediate use, WS1, was issued.

When America entered World War I in April 1917, there was an immediate push to support the war effort.  Weapons were needed, as well as clothing, food, and supplies for the men fighting overseas.  In the coming months, the US government instituted a number of programs to encourage the public to donate what they could, including war bonds and liberty bonds.

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This Day in History… November 30, 1924

Birth of Shirley Chisholm

US #4856 – Chisholm was the 37th honoree in the Black Heritage Series.

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was born November 30, 1924, in New York City, New York.

Born in Brooklyn, Chisholm was the daughter of Caribbean immigrants.  Her mother struggled to raise her four children and work, so she sent them to live with her mother in Barbados.  Chisholm spent five years there and attended a one-room schoolhouse that provided her with a good, serious education. 

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