This Day in History… December 3, 1755

Birth of Artist Gilbert Stuart 

U.S. #884 from the Famous Americans series.

US #884 from the Famous Americans series.

On December 3, 1755, Gilbert Stuart was born in Saunderstown, Rhode Island Colony.

Stuart was the third child of Gilbert Stuart, who worked in America’s first colonial snuff mill.  When he was six, Stuart’s family moved to Newport, Rhode Island.  It was there that he first began to show an interest and talent for painting.  In 1770, Stuart met Scottish artist Cosmo Alexander, who served as his first art tutor.   The following year Stuart traveled to Scotland with Alexander but returned to America in 1773 following his tutor’s death.

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This Day in History… December 2, 1863

Statue of Freedom Completed 

US #573 was the only bi-color stamp in the Series of 1922-25.

On December 2, 1863, the Statue of Freedom was placed atop the US Capitol to a 35-gun salute.

Construction on the US Capitol Building began in 1793 when George Washington laid the cornerstone.  The most famous part of the Capitol is the dome.  The first one, erected in 1824, was made of wood covered with copper.  Within 30 years, the building had expanded so much the dome was small in proportion.  When congressmen saw sketches of a proposed cast-iron dome, they immediately appropriated the money for its construction.

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This Day in History… December 1, 1917

War Savings Stamps Issued to Fund WWI

U.S. #WS1 – The first 25¢ War Savings Thrift Stamp.

US #WS1 – The first 25¢ War Savings Thrift Stamp.

On December 1, 1917, first War Savings Stamp available for immediate use, WS1, was issued.

When America entered World War I in April 1917, there was an immediate push to support the war effort.  Weapons were needed, as well as clothing, food, and supplies for the men fighting overseas.  In the coming months, the US government instituted a number of programs to encourage the public to donate what they could, including war bonds and liberty bonds.

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This Day in History… November 30, 1924

Birth of Shirley Chisholm

US #4856 – Chisholm was the 37th honoree in the Black Heritage Series.

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was born November 30, 1924, in New York City, New York.

Born in Brooklyn, Chisholm was the daughter of Caribbean immigrants.  Her mother struggled to raise her four children and work, so she sent them to live with her mother in Barbados.  Chisholm spent five years there and attended a one-room schoolhouse that provided her with a good, serious education. 

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This Day in History… November 29, 1777

California’s First Civilian Settlement 

US #1725 was issued for the 200th anniversary of San Jose.  Click the image to order.

On November 29, 1777, the first non-military settlement in California was established as El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe in Alta, California.

Before the arrival of Europeans, the Ohlone Native American tribes lived in the area of present-day San Jose.  The first permanent European settlements then came in 1770 when Gaspar de Portolà and Junípero Serra founded the Presidio of Monterey and the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo.

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This Day in History… November 28, 1895

America’s First Automobile Race 

U.S. #2262 from the Transportation Series.

US #2262 from the Transportation Series.

On November 28, 1895, the Chicago Times-Herald Race was held between six cars.

Months earlier, on July 10, 1895, the Chicago Times-Herald first announced that they would hold a race through the city.  Prizes totaling $5,000 (approximately $153,000 in 2019) were up for grabs.  The paper had planned the race as a way to accelerate the still-young automotive industry in America.  America’s first automobiles were produced just two years earlier, and the paper wasn’t even sure what to call them.  They ultimately decided on “Moto-Cycle.”

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Posted in November 2019, This Day in History | 2 Comments