This Day in History… July 24, 1847

Brigham Young Establishes Mormon Homeland in Salt Lake City, Utah 

U.S. #950

After 17 months of travel searching for a new home for his persecuted people, Brigham Young found Utah’s Great Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847 and proclaimed, “This is the place” (as pictured on this stamp).

The Church of Christ (later known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) was founded in 1830 when Joseph Smith published his Book of Mormon. The religion grew fast in his New York community and spread to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. However, it included controversial practices, including polygamy, that made its followers targets of mob violence. Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 6 Comments

This Day in History… July 23, 1904

Ice Cream Cone is Popularized at St. Louis World’s Fair 

U.S. #3720

The St. Louis World’s Fair (also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition) ran for seven months in 1904 and saw the introduction of a number of foods we still eat today. These included hamburgers, hot dogs, peanut butter, cotton candy, and ice cream cones.

Several people in attendance at the fair claim to have been the first to create edible containers for ice cream, but Charles Menches is often considered the inventor. According to Menches, while at the fair on July 23, he watched little girls put their ice cream into the holes of small cakes. Inspired, he ran to the nearest confectioner’s booth and bought a round cake (some accounts say a waffle), rolled it around his finger and then filled it with ice cream. Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 1 Comment

This Day in History… July 22, 1933

Wiley Post Completes First Solo Trip Around the Globe 

U.S. #C95-96

Having already broken the record for flying around the planet, Wiley Post set out to do it again, this time without the aid of a navigator. Not only did he succeed, but he completed the flight in less time, while also experimenting with new technologies.

Post had dreamt of a life in the clouds since the first time he saw an airplane at a county fair when he was 15. He got his start as a skydiver and quickly moved up to pilot. In 1931, he and his navigator, Harold Gatty, broke the record for traveling around the world previously set by the Graf Zeppelin.

In spite of this great accomplishment, Post often heard suggestions that Gatty had directed the effort, and earned more acclaim. Post set out immediately to prove his critics wrong. Equipping his plane with new technology – an early form of autopilot and a radio direction finder – he left Floyd Bennett Field in New York on July 15, 1933. Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 1 Comment

This Day in History… July 21, 1865

“Wild Bill” Hickok Wins the First Western Showdown 

U.S. #2869o

Standing in the dusty town square of Springfield, Missouri, on July 21, 1865, Wild Bill Hickok fired a single shot, killing Davis Tutt in what’s considered America’s first Western showdown.

Despite their repeated use in films and books, shootouts weren’t as common in the Old West as one may think. Most confrontations came in the form of drunk bar brawls, and sneaky ambushes were more common than planned showdowns.

But in July 1865, Union Army veteran Hickok was in a heated feud with his former friend, Tutt. The two had a falling-out over a woman and Tutt repeatedly harassed Hickok in the saloon. Tutt then took Hickok’s prized pocket watch as collateral for a supposed debt. When they couldn’t settle the matter, Hickok threatened that Tutt “shouldn’t come across that square unless dead men can walk.” Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 2 Comments

This Day in History… July 20, 1969

Neil Armstrong Becomes First Man to Walk on the Moon 

U.S. #C76

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong uttered this now famous phrase as he took man’s first step on the Moon. It was a defining moment in American and world history, and set us on the path for decades of space exploration.

The culmination of the Space Race with the Soviet Union, the Apollo 11 mission launched from Florida on July 16. Four days later, Armstrong set his foot on the Moon at 10:56 p.m. E.D.T, as the world watched through a live television feed. Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 2 Comments

This Day in History… July 19, 1848

First Women’s Rights Convention is Held in U.S. 

U.S. #959

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott (pictured on this stamp) heralded the start of the women’s rights movement on July 19, 1848, when they hosted the first convention on the rights of women in the U.S.

The two had met years earlier when they were both refused admission to the World Anti-Slavery Convention because they were women. They sent out a call in a local newspaper that was answered by 200 women on July 19. Stanton shared her “Declaration of Sentiments and Grievances,” which was modeled after the Declaration of Independence, but also brought up the injustices women faced. Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 6 Comments