September 2016

This Day in History… September 18, 1793

Washington Lays Cornerstone of U.S. Capitol 

U.S. #572 was issued as part of a series to replace the Washington-Franklins.

U.S. #572 was issued as part of a series to replace the Washington-Franklins.

On September 18, 1793, President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Philadelphia was America’s first capital city starting in 1774. In 1787, the delegates at the Philadelphia Convention granted Congress the power “To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding 10 miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of government of the United States.” James Madison added that the national capital should be separate from the rest of the states, being responsible for its own maintenance and security.

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This Day in History… September 17, 1862

Battle of Antietam

U.S. #4665 – Taken from an 1887 painting by Thure de Thulstrup, this painting shows the Iron Brigade charging near Dunker Church early in the battle.

U.S. #4665 – Taken from an 1887 painting by Thure de Thulstrup, this stamp shows the Iron Brigade charging near Dunker Church early in the battle.

On September 17, 1862, Union and Confederate troops assembled at Antietam Creek for a 12-hour battle. By sunset, one in five men had become a casualty of the bloodiest one-day battle ever fought on American soil.

The early months of 1862 began well for the Union in the Eastern Theater. George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac was within a few miles of Richmond by June. But Robert E. Lee took command of the Army of Northern Virginia on June 1. The Union’s advantage disappeared as Lee fought McClellan aggressively in the Seven Days Battles, forcing McClellan and his army to retreat down the Virginia Peninsula.

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This Day in History… September 16, 1893

Largest Land Run into Oklahoma 

U.S. #1360 was issued for the 75th anniversary of the Cherokee land run.

U.S. #1360 was issued for the 75th anniversary of the Cherokee land run.

On September 16, 1893, some 100,000 people raced to claim 6 million acres of land in former Indian Territory in Oklahoma.

Arapaho, Caddo, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, Osage, Pawnee, and Wichita Indians lived in the Oklahoma region before Europeans came to the area. These people followed the gigantic herds of buffalo that roamed the grasslands.

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This Day in History… September 15, 1916

First Use of Tanks in World War I 

Item #M11405 pictures some of the other tanks used in WWI.

Item #M11405 pictures some of the other tanks used in WWI.

On September 15, 1916, the first tanks were used in the World War I Battle of the Somme.

The Battle of the Somme was fought from July 1 to November 18, 1916, along the banks of the Somme River in northern France. It was the Allies’ planned decisive breakthrough of the German line in France. According to the plan, the British would attack along a 15-mile front north of the Somme River while the French battled along an eight-mile front to the south of it.

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This Day in History… September 14, 1901

Death of President McKinley 

U.S. #588 is the least common of the 10-perf Series of 1923-26 stamps.

U.S. #588 is the least common of the 10-perf Series of 1923-26 stamps.

Eight days after being shot by an assassin at the Pan-American Expo, President McKinley died on September 14, 1901.

Born January 29, 1843, in Niles, Ohio, William McKinley was the seventh of eight children. At the age of 10, his family moved to Poland, Ohio.

From an early age, McKinley understood the importance of a good education, studying hard through childhood and as a student at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. However, he fell ill and left after just one term. Upon returning home and regaining his health, McKinley worked as a postal clerk and later a teacher.

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This Day in History… September 13, 1814

Battle of Fort McHenry 

U.S. #4921 was issued for the 200th anniversary of the battle.

U.S. #4921 was issued for the 200th anniversary of the battle.

On September 13, 1814, the American garrison at Fort McHenry was subjected to a massive naval assault that ultimately inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

For the first two years of the War of 1812, the British forces used a defensive strategy, protecting their provinces from American invasions in Upper and Lower Canada. However, once the British and their allies defeated Napoleon (as part of the War of the Sixth Coalition), they began a more aggressive plan of attack. Continue reading

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