This Day in History

This Day in History… May 20, 1950

Armed Forces Day 

US #1067 honors America’s Armed Forces Reserve. Click image to order.

On May 20, 1950, the US first celebrated Armed Forces Day.  Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May, near the end of Armed Forces Week.

US Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson first introduced Armed Forces Day on August 31, 1949.  The Department of Defense (DoD) had been created two years earlier to unite all of the Armed Forces into one department.  The department conceived of the holiday to replace the individual days honoring each of the branches.

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This Day in History… May 19, 1864

Death of Nathaniel Hawthorne

US #2047 – Hawthorne was the third honoree in the Literary Arts Series. Click image to order. 

American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, while on a trip with former president Franklin Pierce to the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts.  In 1816, Hawthorne’s family moved to Maine.  He greatly enjoyed his time there, saying they were “delightful days, for that part of the country was wild then, with only scattered clearings.”

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This Day in History… May 18, 1977

International Museum Day

US #3910a from the Modern American Architecture sheet.

On May 18, 1977, the first International Museum Day was celebrated around the world.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) founded International Museum Day in 1946.  The organization was created to promote the educational role of museums and the international circulation of cultural items.

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This Day in History… May 17, 2010

Butterfly Series

US #4462 – 2010 64¢ Monarch.

On May 17, 2010, the USPS issued the first stamp in the Butterfly Series.

In late 2009, the USPS unveiled the first butterfly stamp for greeting card envelopes that required additional postage (an extra 20¢) than the standard one-ounce rate covered.  This would apply to envelopes that couldn’t be sorted on the USPS’s automated equipment, otherwise known as “nonmachinable.”

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This Day in History… May 16, 1919

First Transatlantic Flight 

Marshall Islands #666a pictures the NC-4 that completed this journey.  Click image to order.

On May 16, 1919, Albert Cushing Read departed Newfoundland, beginning the first transatlantic flight.

As early as 1910, aviators hoped to be the first to fly across the Atlantic.  Then in 1913, British newspaper publisher Lord Northcliffe issued a challenge – 10,000 pounds to the first person to fly across the Atlantic in 72 hours.  Around the world, aviators scrambled to be the first.  In the US, Glenn Curtiss was among the hopefuls.

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This Day in History… May 15, 1993

Garden Flower Series

US #2760-64 – Spring Garden Flowers.

On May 15, 1993, the USPS issued the first installment in the Garden Flower Series, which would honor flowers that bloom in each of the four seasons.

This series was borne out of the 1992 Wildflowers issue.  Initially, that project had begun when the USPS asked an artist to produce color sketches of a group of garden flowers.  Instead, the artist gave the USPS illustrations of wildflowers.  The USPS liked them so much, they decided to create a 50-stamp pane, showing wildflowers that can be found in each state.

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