This Day in History… May 31, 1926

The Sesquicentennial Expo

US #627 was issued earlier in May to advertise the expo. Click image to order.

On May 31, 1926, the Sesquicentennial International Exposition opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It was planned to mark the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the 50th anniversary of the 1876 Centennial Exposition.

John Wanamaker, who had helped plan the Centennial Expo, conceived of the idea for the world’s fair in 1916.  At that time, Philadelphia had gained a reputation for political corruption and Wanamaker believed that a world’s fair could help improve how people saw the city.

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This Day in History… May 30, 1962

Opening of the USS Arizona Memorial

US #4873 from the American Landmarks Series. Click image to order.

On May 30, 1962, the USS Arizona Memorial was officially opened to the public.

The secretary of the Navy gave the USS Arizona her name.  The ship took 15 months to complete and measured a staggering 608 feet long.  The Arizona was designed to travel at 21 knots, but during a trial run in September 1924 was clocked even faster.  The ship truly exceeded all expectations.

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This Day in History… May 29, 2004

National World War II Memorial

US #3862 was issued at the memorial’s dedication. Click image to order.

On May 29, 2004, George W. Bush led the official dedication ceremony for the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

World War II veteran Roger Durbin first suggested the memorial in 1987.  He suggested the memorial to Representative Marcy Kaptur, who then introduced the World War II Memorial Act to the House of Representatives that December.  For several years she introduced similar legislation, but it wasn’t voted on.

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This Day in History… May 28, 1937

Opening of the Golden Gate Bridge

US #3185l – The bridge’s vibrant orange paint makes it easier to see through dense fog. Click image to order.

On May 28, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge officially opened to traffic.

The Golden Gate is a narrow passage of water that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.  Formed by the erosive water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers during the Ice Age, the deep channel features powerful tidal currents.  Dense fog forms over the region as cool, moist, ocean air travels inland and meets warmer temperatures.  The usual thick fog may help to explain why several seasoned explorers failed to discover the Golden Gate until 1769.

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This Day in History… May 27, 2006

Wonders of America Sheet

US #4033-72 was issued on this day in 2006. Click image to order.

On May 27, 2006, the USPS issued a stamp sheet honoring 40 American natural and man-made superlatives.

The stamps were issued in Washington, DC during the 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition.  While they don’t honor each of the 50 states specifically as previous large se-tenant sheets had, they do represent every region of the country. Continue reading

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This Day in History… May 26, 1928

First U.S. Airmail Booklet 

US #C10a – Spirit of St. Louis Booklet pane of 3.  Click image to order.

On May 26, 1928, the US issued its first-ever Airmail booklet – US #C10a.

Charles A. Lindbergh made history on May 20, 1927, when he embarked on the first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic.  Completed in 33½ hours, the flight earned Lindbergh a number of honors, including a Legion of Honor from France and a Congressional Medal of Honor and a Distinguished Flying Cross from the United States.  He also became an instant celebrity.

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