This Day in History

This Day in History… August 7, 1904

Birth of Ralph Bunche 

US #1860 from the Great Americans series.

Ralph Johnson Bunche was born on August 7, 1904, in Detroit, Michigan.

In his youth, Bunche and his family moved around a bit, spending time in Toledo, Ohio; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Los Angeles, California.  He was a bright student, a member of the debate team, and the valedictorian of his high school class.

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This Day in History… August 6, 1965

Voting Rights Act of 1965

US #3937b features a photo of young protesters at the Selma March.

On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.

The 15th and 19th Amendments to the United States Constitution granted black citizens the right to vote.  However, Southern registration boards used poll taxes, literacy tests, and other strategies to deny this right.

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This Day in History… August 5, 1914

First Electric Traffic Light

US #1272 was issued to publicize the importance of traffic safety.

On August 5, 1914, the first electric traffic light was installed in Cleveland, Ohio.

London was home to some of the first non-electric gas-lit traffic lights.  They were installed in December 1868 outside the Houses of Parliament.  The lights were created because an overflow of horse-drawn traffic forced large numbers of pedestrians to walk in front of the Houses of Parliament.

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This Day in History… August 4, 1821

The Saturday Evening Post 

US #2839 – Rockwell’s Triple Self-Portrait appeared on the February 1, 1960, cover.

On August 4, 1821, The Saturday Evening Post published its first issue.

According to the Post’s official history, it has a neat connection to Benjamin Franklin!  In 1728, Franklin had the idea to create The Pennsylvania Gazette magazine. However, before he had a chance to begin work on the paper, his partner, Samuel Keimer, stole the name and idea. Luckily for Franklin, the paper failed within a year, and he and Hugh Meredith took over production in 1729.

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This Day in History… August 3, 1927

Revolutionary War Sesquicentennial 

US #643 was issued in Bennington, Vermont, though the battle took place in Bennington, New York.

On August 3, 1927, the US Post Office issued two stamps honoring significant events from the Revolutionary War in 1777.

One of the stamps is the Vermont Sesquicentennial stamp.  The stamp honors the Battle of Bennington and pictures a Green Mountain Boy.  The other stamp honors the Saratoga Campaign and pictures the surrender of General Burgoyne.  It also honors the Battle of Bennington, with an inscription on the right-hand side.

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This Day in History… August 2, 1871

Birth of John Sloan 

US #1433 was issued on Sloan’s 100th birthday. It pictures The Wake of the Ferry.

Artist John French Sloan was born on August 2, 1871, in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.

Sloan grew in up Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he and his sisters were encouraged to draw and paint from an early age. While he was in high school, Sloan’s father suffered a mental breakdown and he chose to leave school to work full time to support his family.

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