This Day in History… September 18, 1870

Old Faithful Geyser 

US #744 from the 1934 National Parks issue.

On September 18, 1870, a group of explorers gave the Old Faithful geyser its name.

During the 1830s, legendary mountain man Jim Bridger returned from Wyoming’s remote Yellowstone region with fantastic tales. He claimed he had seen waterfalls that spouted upwards!  While many didn’t believe his story, some were excited about what they heard and launched expeditions to see it for themselves.

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This Day in History… September 17, 1730

Birth of Baron von Steuben 

US #689 was issued on von Steuben’s 200th birthday.

Wilhelm von Steuben was born on September 17, 1730, in Magdeburg, Kingdom of Prussia (present-day Germany).

Von Steuben was the son of a Prussian engineer captain.  He traveled with his father during the Russo-Turkish War before returning to Prussia where he attended school.

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This Day in History… September 16, 1966

Metropolitan Opera House Opens

US #2054 was issued for the 100th anniversary of the original Met and pictures a view of the modern building.

On September 16, 1966, the Metropolitan Opera House opened at New York’s Lincoln Center, the largest repertory opera house in the world.

In the 1880s, the only opera house in New York City was the Academy of Music. It was small and didn’t have enough private boxes to accommodate all of the city’s up-and-coming wealthy patrons.

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This Day in History… September 15, 1956

EUROPA Stamps

Italy #715-16 from the first issue in 1956.

On September 15, 1956, six nations came together to issue the first EUROPA stamps, a tradition that continues to this day.

The roots of the Europa stamps trace back to 1951 when six nations (Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) established the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The ECSC was conceived by French civil servant Jean Monnet in the hopes it would prevent another war between France and Germany.  By creating a common market coal and steel, he hoped to reduce competition between European nations and “make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible.”

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This Day in History… September 14, 1908

America’s First Journalism School 

US #1119 was issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the school’s founding.

On September 14, 1908, the University of Missouri School of Journalism became the first such school in the US, and only the second in the world.  (The Superior School of Journalism of Paris opened in 1899.)

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was significant debate over journalism education.  Many people believed that journalism couldn’t be taught in a classroom, rather it had to be learned from an extended apprenticeship.  And journalists needed to have a certain talent for the field that they couldn’t simply learn.

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This Day in History… September 13, 1860

Birth of John J. Pershing 

US #1214 – A 1961 definitive.

John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing was born on September 13, 1860, in Laclede, Missouri.

One of six children, Pershing grew up during the Civil War, during which his father was a civilian merchant for the 18th Missouri Volunteer Infantry.  After completing high school in 1878, Pershing taught local African American children for a time before attending the State Normal School.  He graduated in 1880 with a degree in scientific didactics.

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