This Day in History… December 26, 1837

Birth of Admiral George Dewey

US #793 pictures Dewey with two other Spanish-American war naval heroes – William Sampson and Winfield Schley.

George Dewey was born in Montpelier, Vermont, on December 26, 1837.  His father had helped found the National Life Insurance Company as well as the Christ Episcopal Church in Montpelier. 

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This Day in History… December 25, 1730

Birth of Philip Mazzei

US #C98 was issued for Mazzei’s 150th birthday.  Click the image to order.

Italian physician, merchant, horticulturalist and close friend of President Thomas Jefferson, Philip Mazzei was born on December 25, 1730, in Poggio a Caiano (Prato) in Tuscany.

Mazzei studied medicine in Florence and worked as a doctor in Italy and the Middle East before finding work as a merchant in London in 1755.  While in London he taught Italian and befriended Benjamin Franklin and other Americans, who encouraged him to correspond with Thomas Jefferson.

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This Day in History… December 24, 1818

First Performance of “Silent Night”

US #5248 includes a line from “Silent Night.” Click the image to order.

“Silent Night” was first performed on Christmas Eve in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria, in 1818.

The story goes that the organ at St. Nicholas’ parish was broken and could not be repaired before Christmas.  A young priest named Joseph Mohr remembered a poem he had written in 1816.  The poem described the tranquil scene of Jesus’ birth. 

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This Day in History… December 23, 1913

Federal Reserve Established 

US #3183b pictures an eagle statue on the Federal Reserve building. Click the image to order. 

On December 23, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act, establishing America’s current central banking system.

The idea of a central banking system dates back to post-Revolutionary War America.  The new country had large wartime debts and needed a solid banking system.  Two of America’s founding fathers and long-time friends, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, were split on the issue.

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This Day in History… December 22, 1910

Postal Savings Officials 

US #O121 was issued on this day in 1910. Click the image to order.

On December 22, 1910, the US Post Office Department issued its first Postal Savings Official Mail stamp.

On June 25, 1910, the US Congress approved an act to establish the Postal Savings System.  The Postal Savings System was created to serve small investors living in rural communities.

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This Day in History… December 21, 1920

Pilgrim Tercentenary Issue 

US #548 pictures the Mayflower.  Click the image to order.

On December 21, 1920, the US Post Office Department issued a set of three stamps honoring the 300th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Pilgrims never intended to be wanderers.  They were devout Christians who felt that only by breaking all ties with the Church of England could they retain their integrity before God.  They went to Holland first, but their plight didn’t improve.  So they set sail for America on September 16, 1620.

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