This Day in History

This Day in History… February 20, 1962

First American Orbit of Earth 

US #1193 was produced in secrecy to coincide with Glenn’s flight.  Click image to order. 

On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth aboard his Friendship 7 capsule.

Born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio, John Glenn was enrolled in college when World War II began.  Because he had earned his private pilot’s license, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  He wasn’t called up quickly, so he joined the Navy in March 1942.  He was reassigned to the Marines in 1943 and flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific.

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This Day in History… February 19, 1914

Parents Mail Their Daughter

US #Q5 – Several instances of children traveling through the mail were by train. Click image to order.

On February 19, 1914, parents in Idaho took advantage of the affordable Parcel Post rate to mail their daughter to her grandmother’s house.

A year earlier, the Post Office Department had initiated its Parcel Post service for fourth-class mail on January 1, 1913.  Parcel Post service could be used for sending items weighing 16 ounces or more through the mail.  The mail is divided into four classes, with Parcel Post making up the fourth class. Almost any type of merchandise could be mailed parcel post, including day-old chicks, baby alligators, and honeybees.  Only items that could be dangerous to handle could not be sent through Parcel Post.

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This Day in History… February 18, 1939

Golden Gate International Exposition 

US #852 was issued on the opening day of the expo. Click image to order.

On February 18, 1939, the Golden Gate International Exposition opened in San Francisco, California.

The idea for the exposition dates back to 1933 when a letter to The San Francisco News suggested the city hold a world’s fair to honor the completion of the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Construction on both bridges had begun in 1933 and was completed in 1936 and 1937.

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This Day in History… February 17, 1897

Parent Teacher Association

US #1463 was issued for the 75th anniversary of the National PTA. Click image to order.

On February 17, 1897, the National Congress of Mothers was formed, which would later become the Parent Teacher Association.

The organization was the brainchild of Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst.  Both mothers, Birney and Hearst were deeply concerned about the welfare of children and believed in the importance of education in enriching their lives.

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This Day in History… February 16, 1945

Battle to Recapture Corregidor

US #925 was issued in 1944 to honor those who defended Corregidor until the Japanese captured it in 1942.  Click image to order. 

On February 16, 1945, the first of 7,000 American troops arrived at Corregidor, ready to retake the important Pacific outpost.

To prevent its complete destruction, Manila was declared an open city when World War II broke out.  The Japanese began their invasion of the Philippines on December 8, 1941, ten hours after the Pearl Harbor attack.  They destroyed every US aircraft on the ground, forcing the American naval fleet to withdraw.

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This Day in History… February 15, 1943

“We Can Do It” Poster 

US #3186e from the Celebrate the Century – 1940s sheet.

On February 15, 1943, the famed Rosie the Riveter “We Can Do It” poster was first displayed in Westinghouse factories.

One of the most dramatic social changes during World War II was the new job opportunities for women.  As men left the country to fight the war overseas, millions of women entered the workforce.  Virtually overnight, housewives and mothers were transformed into welders, electricians, mechanics, taxi drivers, attorneys, firefighters, and police officers.

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