This Day in History

This Day in History… October 20, 1874

Birth of Charles Ives

US #3164 – from the Conductors and Composers Issue

Composer Charles Edward Ives was born on October 20, 1874, in Danbury, Connecticut. 

Ives’s father had been a bandleader during the Civil War.  His father also directed bands, choirs, and orchestras in their hometown, in addition to teaching music theory.  Ives’s and his brother learned music at a young age from their father, giving Ives an early understanding of harmony and counterpoint.  His father encouraged experimentation, an attitude that would pervade his music.  

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This Day in History… October 19, 1901

Birth of Arleigh Burke

US #4441 – from the Distinguished Sailors issue

US Navy Admiral Arleigh Burke was born on October 19, 1901, in Boulder, Colorado.

Burke received his education in Boulder, but a 1918 influenza outbreak closed down the schools and he never graduated from high school.  He then received an appointment to the US Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1923.

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This Day in History… October 18, 1997

Women in Military Service for America Memorial

US #3174 was issued at the dedication ceremony of the memorial.

On October 18, 1997, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA) was officially dedicated in Arlington County, Virginia.

Female veterans began calling for a memorial to women in the armed services in the early 1980s.  By 1982, they received formal support from the American Veterans Committee.

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This Day in History… October 17, 1913

Birth of George Polk

US #4250 – from the 2008 American Journalists issue

Journalist George Polk was born on October 17, 1913, in Fort Worth, Texas.  He was a descendent of US Presidents James K. Polk and Andrew Jackson.

Polk attended the Virginia Military Institute but left during his junior year.  After returning briefly to Fort Worth, he grew restless.  Polk spent some time in California before going to Alaska, where he attended the University of Alaska.

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This Day in History… October 16, 1887

The United Way

US #2275 was issued for the United Way’s 100th anniversary.  It was controversial at the time as the USPS had a rule against issuing stamps for charitable organizations.

The precursor of the United Way of America was founded on October 16, 1887, in Denver, Colorado.

On that day, a priest, two ministers, and a rabbi met over concerns relating to Denver’s welfare problems.  At the time, many in the city were struggling in the wake of the gold and silver booms.  These clergy members recognized that sporadic collections were not enough to meet the needs of Denver’s poor.

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This Day in History… October 15, 1966

Wolf Trap Farm National Park

US #1452 was issued for the 100th anniversary of America’s first national park.  It pictures the old Filene Center.

On October 15, 1966, the Wolf Trap Farm National Park for Performing Arts was established in Virginia.  It’s the only National Park dedicated exclusively to the performing arts.

According to local records, wolves used to run wild in the Fairfax County area and bounties were given to those who could trap them.  In 1739, a branch of the Difficult Run tributary system was named Wolf Trap Creek, one of the early-recorded instances of the use of this name in the area.

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