This Day in History… August 28, 1963

March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” Speech 

U.S. #4804

As African Americans struggled against segregation and mistreatment, Civil Rights leaders organized the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963.

Even after the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in 1954, racial equality didn’t exist in much of America. The civil rights movement of the 1960s, led by Martin Luther King Jr., changed that. Under his guidance, many people of all races united on behalf of equality. Continue reading

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This Day in History… August 27, 1908

Birth of America’s 36th President 

U.S. #1503 pictures Johnson’s official White House portrait. Painted by Elizabeth Shoumatoff in 1968, Johnson personally selected it as his official portrait.

Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born on August 27, 1908 in Stonewall, Texas, and was the oldest of five children. He was an intelligent boy and began primary school at four years old. His grandfather predicted he would someday become a senator. But before beginning his political career, LBJ dabbled in teaching and a number of odd jobs as he pursued a college degree.

While taking some time off from school, Johnson taught at a segregated Mexican-American school in Cotulla, Texas. There, he witnessed the plight of the impoverished students, realizing not one of them would ever have an opportunity to go on to higher education. It bothered him to know that “the door to knowledge remained closed to any American.”

LBJ started his political career working as Secretary to Texas Congressman Richard Kleberg in 1931. Less than four years later, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him the Texas Director of the National Youth Administration. Within two years he was elected to the House of Representatives where he championed the fight for public housing and electricity in nonurban areas. Continue reading

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This Day in History… August 26, 1748

Creation of First Formal Lutheran Church Body
In North America 

U.S. #2065 – Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation in 1517, laying the groundwork for the Lutheran Church.

On August 26, 1748, members of several Pennsylvania Lutheran communities met and agreed upon a common liturgy – the first in North America.

Swedes and Germans practicing Lutheranism had begun settling in Pennsylvania as early as 1638. They were drawn to the American colonies for the promise of religious freedom. Individual groups formed their own congregations. By the mid 1700s however, the need for well-trained preachers, elders, and deacons became apparent and a conference was planned.

Held in 1742, the conference hosted 24 German clergymen, including Henry Muhlenberg. However, tensions were high between the pious and orthodox sects both in American and abroad. The creators of this conference intentionally excluded orthodox representatives, who in turn disrupted the meeting. No progress was made at this time. Continue reading

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This Day in History… August 25, 1916

National Park Service Established 

CNARHS25D – Hot Springs National Park Quarter

Decades after the first national park was created, the National Park Service (N.P.S.) was officially established on August 25, 1916.

In the 1800s, Americans began to take notice of the natural wonders around them, and some began to call for their protection. The earliest example of this is Arkansas’ Hot Springs, which was made America’s first federal reserve in 1832.

During the Civil War, conservationists became worried about the affects of commercial ventures in Yosemite and lobbied for its protection. In 1864, President Lincoln placed Yosemite under the protection of the state of California. This was the first time the U.S. government set aside park land specifically for preservation and public use. Continue reading

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This Day in History… August 24, 1814

Dolley Madison Saves Famous Washington Portrait 

U.S. #1822

On August 24, 1814, as British troops approached the American capital, First Lady Dolley Madison insisted on saving important historical relics, including a portrait of our first president.

Two years into the War of 1812, British troops were closing in on Washington, D.C. They began landing in Maryland on August 17, and were headed for the American capitol. President Madison had left the White House to meet with his generals, but instructed his wife to gather important state papers and wait for his return. Dolley and the White House staff waited anxiously, staring through spyglasses for either President Madison or the British Army. Continue reading

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This Day in History… August 23, 1966

First Photo of Earth Taken from the Moon 

U.S. #2571

On August 23, 1966, Lunar Orbiter I captured the first images of our planet from deep space.

Photographing Earth wasn’t the mission. It wasn’t even considered until the craft was out in space.

The Lunar Orbiter program was launched in 1966, and aimed at capturing images of the moon’s surface to plan possible landing sites. As NASA made preparations, they discovered that Boeing and Eastman Kodak had been working on exactly what they needed – a spacecraft with an onboard camera system. Continue reading

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