This Day in History… October 18, 1997

Women in Military Service for America Memorial

US #3174 was issued at the dedication ceremony of the memorial.

On October 18, 1997, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA) was officially dedicated in Arlington County, Virginia.

Female veterans began calling for a memorial to women in the armed services in the early 1980s.  By 1982, they received formal support from the American Veterans Committee.

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This Day in History… October 17, 1941

The Kearny Incident 

US #940 honors all those who served in World War II.

On October 17, 1941, a US ship was attacked and damaged by the Germans for the first time during World War II.

In the months leading up to the event, America, who had claimed neutrality, was growing more and more involved in the war. In March, the US initiated the Lend-Lease program, sending money, munitions, and food to Britain, China, and later the Soviet Union.

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This Day in History… October 16, 1940

National Defense Issue 

US #899 pictures the Statue of Liberty.

On October 16, 1940, the US Post Office Department issued a set of three stamps to raise support for a strong national defense.

By the summer of 1940, Americans wanted nothing to do with the European conflicts overseas, holding tightly to their isolationist ideals. The only aid President Franklin Roosevelt could provide (as Congress refused to pass any military bills) was repealing the arms embargo to allow the US to sell arms to Great Britain. Britain was required to pay in advance and transport the material back on their own. However, German ships sank the ships carrying them almost as fast as the weapons were produced.

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This Day in History… October 15, 1966

Wolf Trap Farm National Park

US #1452 was issued for the 100th anniversary of America’s first national park. It pictures the old Filene Center.

On October 15, 1966, the Wolf Trap Farm National Park for Performing Arts was established in Virginia.  It’s the only National Park dedicated exclusively to the performing arts.

According to local records, wolves used to run wild in the Fairfax County area and bounties were given to those who could trap them.   In 1739, a branch of the Difficult Run tributary system was named Wolf Trap Creek, one of the early-recorded instances of the use of this name in the area.

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This Day in History… October 14, 1947

First Supersonic Flight

US #3173 was issued on this day in 1997.

On October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier.

Since the early 1940s, aviation scientists had been working to solve the problem of breaking the “sound barrier” – the sharp increase in aerodynamic drag that aircraft experience as they approach the speed of sound. For this purpose, the Bell Aircraft Company and the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics built the rocket-powered Bell X-1.

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This Day in History… October 13, 1775

Creation of the Continental Navy

US #1354 – America’s first navy jack that flew during the war.

On October 13, 1775, the Second Continental Congress authorized the creation of a Navy.

Previously, the British had imposed martial law in Boston and Americans wanted to capture British supplies and ammunition bound for that city.  Before the creation of the Continental Congress, George Washington took command of several ships to start intercepting the British vessels.  At the same time, several colonial governments began preparing their own warships.

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