This Day in History… April 20, 1918

The Red Baron’s Final Victory

Micronesia #155b pictures Richthofen and his famed red Fokker Dr.I.

On April 20, 1918, the Red Baron shot down his 80th plane, a record for World War I.

The Red Baron was born Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen into an aristocratic Prussian family in present-day Wrocław, Poland. He was enrolled in a military school at age 11, commissioned into the 1st Uhlan Regiment of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and promoted to lieutenant in 1912.

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This Day in History… April 19, 1782

US-Netherlands Relations

US #2003 was issued for the 200th anniversary of this event.

On April 19, 1782, John Adams secured recognition from the Dutch Republic of the United States as an independent government. This marked the start of one of America’s longest unbroken peaceful relationships with another nation.

The link between the Netherlands and America began more than a century earlier. In the late 1500s, the Dutch were among several Europeans to colonize the eastern coast of North America.

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This Day in History… April 18, 1942

Doolittle Raid

US #2697a from the World War II, 1942: Into the Battle sheet.

On April 18, 1942, Jimmy Doolittle led a daring raid against the Japanese in retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Within weeks of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged US forces to retaliate. Navy Captain Francis Low first suggested that twin-engine Army bombers could be launched from an aircraft carrier.

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This Day in History… April 17, 1900

American Samoa Ceded to the U.S.

US #3389 was issued on this day in 2000 to celebrate 100 years of unity.

On April 17, 1900, chiefs on the island of Tutuila signed the Treaty of Cession of Tutuila, transferring control of American Samoa to the United States.

American Samoa’s earliest inhabitants arrived at the islands west of Samoa as early as 1500 BC. Samoa’s Manu’a Islands have one of the oldest recorded histories in Polynesia.

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This Day in History… April 16, 1924

Birth of Henry Mancini

US #3839 was issued three days before Mancini’s 80th birthday.

Enrico Nicola “Henry” Mancini was born on April 16, 1924, in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio.

Mancini spent much of his childhood in Pittsburgh, where his father got him piccolo lessons at the age of eight. By the time he was 12, Mancini learned to play piano and soon played in a band with his father called the Sons of Italy.

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This Day in History… April 15, 1452

Birth of Leonardo da Vinci

Cambodia #1217 was issued for da Vinci’s 540th birthday.

Renaissance Man Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Republic of Florence, Italy.

Da Vinci’s full birth name was “Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci,” meaning “Leonardo, (son) of (Mes)ser Piero from Vinci.”   He had little formal education but learned Latin, geometry, and mathematics as a child.

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