This Day in History… December 16, 1773

U.S. #1480-83 – Wealthy colonists offered to pay for the lost tea, but the British refused.

Colonists Revolt with Boston Tea Party

On December 16, 1773, a group of Massachusetts colonists known as the Sons of Liberty staged a dramatic protest against British taxes – the famed Boston Tea Party.

The French and Indian War left Britain in debt. So taxes were levied on the New World colonies, which enraged colonists. The slogan, “No taxation without representation,” became popular in Massachusetts and protests were staged. In 1770, British soldiers fired on a group of angry patriots, killing five of them. The Boston Massacre, as it came to be known, sparked public sentiment against the British.

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This Day in History… December 15, 1791

U.S. #1312 – Commemorates the 175th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.

Bill of Rights Becomes Law

On December 15, 1791, Virginia became the 11th state to ratify the Bill of Rights, earning the three-fourths majority needed to add the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

Following the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, which led to the creation of the new nation’s Constitution, each state had to ratify it individually. The first nine states approved the Constitution by June 1788. Although all that was needed to approve the Constitution was nine states, four others argued it provided too much power to the central government, which could easily abuse individual rights. They believed there should be a bill of rights to prevent such abuses.

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This Day in History… December 14, 1896

Item #20027– Commemorative cover cancelled on Doolittle’s 90th birthday.

Birth of Aviator Jimmy Doolittle

James “Jimmy” Doolittle was born on December 14, 1896 in Alameda, California.

Doolittle was an early aviation pioneer who devoted 42 years of his life to service in the U.S. Air Force. While he had equals in terms of daring and bravery, Doolittle was one of the first aeronautical engineers. He was a flight leader and gunnery instructor during World War I.

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This Day in History… December 13, 1636

U.S. #1017 – The National Guard is America’s oldest military organization, with its roots dating back to 1636.

National Guard Founded

The National Guard traces its roots to the Massachusetts Bay Colony on December 13, 1636.

Following the success of the Pilgrims in the early 1620s, more English Puritans wished to move to the New World. In 1630, about 1,000 Puritans voyaged to America and settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Over time, the colonists began to clash with some of the Native Americans, particularly the Pequot nation. As the colonies grew, they established their own scattered militias, with no real connection to each other.

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This Day in History… December 12, 1901

U.S. #1500 pictures Marconi’s spark coil and spark gap, which enabled him to transmit across the Atlantic Ocean by wireless radio.

First Transatlantic Radio Transmission

On December 12, 1901, Guglielmo Marconi successfully sent the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean.

Born in Italy in 1874, Marconi was a physicist before he became interested in the transmission of radio waves. He ran his first experiments in Bologna in 1894. Soon, Marconi was able to send radio signals up to one-and-a-half miles. However, many of his contemporaries in Italy didn’t see the merit in his experiments, so Marconi moved to England in 1896.

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This Day in History… December 11, 1816

U.S. #1651 – At the center of the Indiana flag is a flaming torch, symbolizing liberty and enlightenment.

Indiana Becomes 19th U.S. State

On December 11, 1816, Indiana was admitted to the Union.

In 1679, the French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, the Sieur de La Salle, became the first European to explore Indiana. La Salle came to the area from French colonies in Canada in an effort to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean, traveling down the St. Joseph and Kankakee rivers. He returned in 1680, and explored the northern region of Indiana.

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