This Day in History… July 23, 1930

Death of Glenn Curtiss

US #C100 – 1980 Glenn Curtiss airmail stamp.

Aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss died on July 23, 1930, in Buffalo, New York.

Glenn Hammond Curtiss was born on May 21, 1878, in Hammondsport, New York.  He became interested in bicycles as a young man and was a champion racer, riding bikes he had designed and built.

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This Day in History… July 22, 1898

Birth of Alexander Calder

US #3198-3203 – This strip of five stamps was issued for Calder’s 100th birthday in 1998.

Alexander Calder was born on July 22, 1898, in Lawnton, Pennsylvania.  There’s been some confusion over the years though, as members of his family suggest he was born one month later, on August 22.

Calder came from a family of artists – his father and grandfather produced numerous sculptures in Philadelphia and his mother was a portrait painter.  Calder produced his first sculpture in 1902 when he was four years old.

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This Day in History… July 21, 1944

Battle of Guam 

US #GM2 – Overprinted Guam Guard Mail stamp from 1930.

On July 21, 1944, US troops landed on Guam, initiating a three-week battle to recapture the island.

The largest of the Mariana Islands, Guam had been a United States possession since its capture from Spain in 1898.  However, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces took the island on December 10, 1941.

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This Day in History… July 20, 1976

Viking I Lands on Mars

US #1759 was issued on the 2nd anniversary of Viking I’s Mars landing.

On July 20, 1976, Viking I became the first man-made object to land on Mars.

As early as 1966, officials recommended that research objectives in the post-Apollo era focus on the unmanned exploration of Mars.  The Viking 1 mission – with a landing planned to coincide with the nation’s July 4, 1976, Bicentennial celebration – set off to accomplish that goal on August 20, 1975.

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This Day in History… July 19, 1980

1980 Summer Olympics

US #1791-94 were issued before the US decided to boycott the games.

On July 19, 1980, the Summer Olympic Games opened in Moscow, Soviet Union. They were the first Olympics to be held in Eastern Europe.

Moscow was selected as the host city for these games in 1974, beating out Los Angeles by 19 votes.  The games would only include 80 nations, the smallest number since 1956, as a result of protests led by US President Jimmy Carter.

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This Day in History… July 18, 1918

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela  

Item #M11331 was issued for Mandela’s passing in 2013.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in Mvezo, Cape Province, South Africa.

The son of a local chief, Mandela spent much of his childhood herding cattle and was enrolled in a local Methodist school at the age of seven.  He went on to attend a Methodist high school and college, where he enjoyed playing sports, particularly long-distance running and boxing.

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