This Day in History

This Day in History… September 15, 1857

Birth of William Howard Taft

US #687 – Taft was the only person to serve as both president and chief justice of the Supreme Court.

William Howard Taft was born September 15, 1857, near Cincinnati, Ohio.

As a student at Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut, he was a member of the Livonian Society, a literary and debate group.  After graduating second in his class in 1878, he attended Cincinnati Law School.

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This Day in History… September 14, 1908

America’s First Journalism School 

US #1119 was issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the school’s founding.

On September 14, 1908, the University of Missouri School of Journalism became the first such school in the US, and only the second in the world.  (The Superior School of Journalism of Paris opened in 1899.)

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was significant debate over journalism education.  Many people believed that journalism couldn’t be taught in a classroom, rather it had to be learned from an extended apprenticeship.  Journalists needed to have a certain talent for the field that they couldn’t simply learn.

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This Day in History… September 13, 1857

Happy Birthday, Milton Hershey

US #2933 was issued on Hershey’s 138th birthday.

Businessman and philanthropist Milton Snavely Hershey was born on September 13, 1857, in Derry Township, Pennsylvania.

Hershey was the only surviving child of Mennonites Henry and Fannie Hershey.  The family moved often, and he had no formal education after the fourth grade.  In 1871, he apprenticed to a local printer, but found the work boring.  He was fired after accidentally dropping his hat in one of the machines.  While his father asked the printer to give him his job back, his mother and aunt proposed a different apprenticeship –  with a candy maker.

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This Day in History… September 12, 1962

“We choose to go to the Moon” Speech

Item #M11851 – Mint sheet honoring Kennedy’s role in the Moon landing

On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered one of his most famous and stirring speeches, to generate support for the Apollo program.

The Space Race began on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union launched the world’s first artificial satellite.  Originally, the Soviet Union planned to launch a much larger satellite, known to its designers as “Object D.”  However, the telemetry system was not functioning as needed, and a lower than expected impulse of the launch rocket delayed the project.  Fearing that the Americans would launch a satellite first, a decision was made to develop a much simpler rocket concurrently.  Sputnik was smaller than a basketball and carried only a radio transmitter instead of multiple scientific instruments.  Object D would be launched successfully as Sputnik-3 on May 15, 1958.

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This Day in History… September 11, 1913

Birth of Bear Bryant

US #3148 was issued at the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Football star and coach Paul William “Bear” Bryant was born on September 11, 1913, in Moro Bottom, Arkansas.

Bryant received his nickname when he was 13 years old and had agreed to wrestle a captive bear for a carnival promotion.  While his mother wanted him to be a minister, he knew he wanted to be a coach.

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This Day in History… September 10, 1851

Death of Thomas Gallaudet 

US #1861 from the Great Americans Series.

Deaf education pioneer, Thomas Gallaudet, died on September 10, 1851.

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet was born on December 10, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  From a young age he wanted to be a priest, but also considered other vocations.  He graduated from Yale University at 17 before earning his master’s degree there three years later.

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