This Day in History… February 10, 1941

First Highway Post Office 

US #4710o from the 2012 Earthscapes issue.

On February 10, 1941, the first Highway Post Office began service in the United States.

In the 1800s, America’s rapid expansion created a need for faster mail transportation.  The short-lived Pony Express of 1860-61 made it possible to send messages across the country in just 10 days.  Then in 1862, the US introduced its first Railway Post Office (RPO), which sorted mail as the train steamed along.

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This Day in History… February 9, 1840

Birth of Admiral William T. Sampson

US #793 pictures Sampson, George Dewey, and Winfield Schley.

US Navy Rear Admiral William T. Sampson was born on February 9, 1840, in Palmyra, New York. 

Sampson graduated first in his class from the US Naval Academy in 1861.  After graduation, he remained at the academy for a time to teach physics. 

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This Day in History… February 8, 1693

College of William and Mary 

US #UX167 – Classic First Day Cover.

On February 8, 1693, a royal charter officially established the College of William and Mary.  Today it’s the second-oldest college in America (behind Harvard).

Virginia’s first English settlers arrived in 1607 at Jamestown.  One of their early goals was to establish a school for Native Americans and the sons of colonists.  Plans for such a school were first drawn up in 1618.

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This Day in History… February 7, 1867

Happy Birthday Laura Ingalls Wilder 

US #2786 from the Children’s Classics issue.

Acclaimed author Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on February 7, 1867, in Pepin County, Wisconsin.

The second of five children, Wilder spent the first two years of her life in a small log cabin in Wisconsin.  She was a descendant of the Delano family, the same family as Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

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This Day in History… February 6, 1895

Happy Birthday, Babe Ruth

US #2046 was issued for the 50th anniversary of the All-Star Game.

George Herman “Babe” Ruth was born on February 6, 1895, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Ruth was reportedly a rambunctious child with a habit of getting into trouble.  It’s likely because of this that he was sent to the St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, where he stayed for 12 years. 

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This Day in History… February 5, 1945

Operation Cornflakes 

Germany #518 – A genuine used stamp from the era.

On February 5, 1945, the US began a secret operation to overthrow Hitler with postage stamps.

By the early months of 1945, the world had been at war for over three years.  Germany appeared to be nearing defeat, but American casualties were mounting.  An idea was hatched – a brilliant plan to bring down the Nazi government.  The weapon chosen to defeat Hitler – postage stamps!

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