This Day in History

This Day in History… July 29, 1836

Opening of the Arc de Triomphe

US #934 pictures a procession of troops in front of the arc during WWII.

On July 29, 1836, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile (Triumphal Arch of the Star) officially opened to the public.

Before the plans were made for the Arc de Triomphe, there was a proposal for a different structure in that location. Architect Charles Ribart wanted to build a three-level elephant-shaped building with a spiral staircase and furniture that folded into the walls.  However, the French government denied his request.

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This Day in History… July 28, 1984

1984 Summer Olympics

US #2048-51 were issued exactly one year before the games opened.

On July 28, 1984, the Summer Olympic Games opened in Los Angeles, California.

By the late 1970s, few countries were interested in hosting Summer Olympics following the deaths of Israeli athletes at the 1972 games and the large financial debts of Montreal in 1976.  By 1978, only Los Angeles and Tehran were interested, and Tehran withdrew their bid following policy changes in the country.

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This Day in History… July 27, 1909

Wright Brothers Set Flight Record

US #C45 was issued for the 46th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first successful flight of a heavier-than-air powered aircraft.

On July 27, 1909, Orville Wright flew a plane a record one hour and 12 minutes.

Born in 1867 and 1871, Wilbur and Orville Wright had been interested in science and technology from a young age.  After receiving a flying toy as a gift from their father in 1878, they became fascinated with flight and sought to develop a heavier-than-air flying machine that could carry a man.

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This Day in History… July 26, 1948

Executive Order 9981

US #3937a from the To Form a More Perfect Union sheet.

On July 26, 1948, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, calling for the end of racial discrimination in the US armed forces.

Early American laws barred African Americans from the military, but in times of war, white leaders recruited both slave and free blacks. The Continental Army had 5,000 African-Americans, and at least 216,000 black men served in the Union forces during the Civil War.

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This Day in History… July 25, 1909

First Flight Across the English Channel

Hungary #C59 from an issue honoring inventors and explorers.

On July 25, 1909, Louis Blériot became the first person to fly across the English Channel.

Born in Cambrai, France on July 1, 1872, Blériot was the first of five children.  At the age of 10, he attended the Institute of Notre Dame in Cambrai, where he often won prizes for his engineering drawings.

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This Day in History… July 24, 1897

Happy Birthday Amelia Earhart 

US #C68 was issued on Earhart’s 66th birthday.

Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison Kansas.

Earhart had a taste for adventure from a young age. In 1904, she saw a roller coaster for the first time during a family trip to St. Louis.   When she returned home, Earhart and an uncle built a homemade version and attached it to the roof of a shed. Though Amelia ended up bruised and the wooden box she rode in was destroyed, she exclaimed, “It’s just like flying!”

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