This Day in History

This Day in History… October 24, 1911

Happy Birthday to Sonny Terry

US #3214 – from the 1998 Folk Musicians Issue

Saunders Terrell, later known as Sonny Terry, was born on October 24, 1911, in Greensboro, Georgia. 

Born to a poor farming family, Terry received a blues harp from his father when he was a child.  His father taught him some basics and before long he was picking up songs he heard at home and church. 

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This Day in History… October 23, 1910

First Public Flight by an American Female Aviator

US #C99 – Scott was known as the “Tomboy of the Air.”

On October 23, 1910, Blanche Scott became the first American female pilot to make a public flight.

Blanche Stuart Scott was born on April 8, 1884, in Rochester, New York.  An adventurous tomboy from a young age, she would take her father’s car out for joy rides when she was just 13 years old.  Her parents hoped to “cure” her tomboy habits and sent her to finishing school, though it had little effect.

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This Day in History… October 22, 1914

Wine Stamps

US #RE1 – from the first issue of Wine stamps

On October 22, 1914, the Emergency Revenue Act was passed, which called for the creation of Wine Revenue Stamps.

The US began using revenue stamps on a wide variety of items in the 1860s to help finance the Civil War.  Labeled as “sin taxes,” the first alcohol stamps were issued for beer, not wine. 

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This Day in History… October 21, 1833

Birth of Alfred Nobel

US #3504 was issued for the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize.

Alfred Bernhard Nobel was born on October 21, 1833, in Stockholm, Sweden.

One of eight children, Nobel was the descendant of Swedish scientist Olaus Rudbeck.  He had an interest in engineering and explosives from an early age, with his father teaching him some of the basic science.

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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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