This Day in History… July 11, 1979

Skylab

US #1529 – was issued on the first anniversary of Skylab’s launch.

On July 11, 1979, Skylab, the first manned US space laboratory, returned to Earth after six years in space.

Werner von Braun was one of the early advocates for an American space station as early as the 1950s. He imagined a massive circular station that rotated to create artificial gravity and was manned by 80 people to forecast weather, study the solar system, and launch expeditions to the Moon and Mars. While many these goals could be carried out without the use a space station, many saw merit in a smaller space station for scientific study.

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This Day in History… July 10, 1856

Birth of Nikola Tesla

US #2057 from the American Inventors series. (In 1891, he became an American citizen.)

Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856, in Smiljan, Austrian Empire (present-day Croatia).

The fourth of five children, Tesla discovered as he attended school that he had an eidetic memory – meaning he was able to retain more information and for longer than his fellow students. This sometimes got young Tesla in trouble as his teachers thought him to be cheating.

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This Day in History… July 9, 1944

U.S. Troops Clear Saipan

US #2838g pictures a US soldier with a flamethrower clearing an enemy bunker on Saipan.

On July 9, 1944, American troops claimed victory after a three-week battle on Saipan.

Throughout 1944 American troops continued to advance on two fronts in the Pacific Theatre. While MacArthur fought his way across New Guinea toward the Philippines, Admiral Nimitz’s amphibious forces leapfrogged from island to island toward Japan.

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This Day in History… July 8, 1838

Ferdinand von Zeppelin 

Bhutan #1294 was issued for the 100th anniversary of the first Zeppelin flight.

Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin was born on July 8, 1838, in Konstanz, Grand Duchy of Baden (present-day Baden-Württemberg), Germany.

The son of a minister, Zeppelin was raised on his family estate with his brother and sister where they received an education from private tutors. In 1853, he enrolled in a polytechnic institute in Stuttgart.

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This Day in History… July 7, 1942

China Resistance Stamp

US #906 was issued on this day in 1942.

On July 7, 1942, the US issued its first stamp with foreign characters as part of the design.

US #906 was issued to commemorate the fifth anniversary of China’s resistance against the Japanese Empire in the early days of World War II. The 5¢ denomination would have paid for a first-class letter to China.

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This Day in History… July 6, 1894

Bicycle Mail 

US #2266 – 1890s tandem bicycle.

On July 6, 1894, a San Francisco businessman operated a short-lived bicycle mail route in San Francisco, complete with his own stamps.

The economic panic of 1893 hurt businesses across the nation, the Pullman Palace Car Company among them.  As demand for their train cars declined, the company cut wages.  Workers then complained of the low wages and 16-hour workdays. When the company president, George Pullman, refused to speak to the employees, they launched a boycott on June 26, 1894, led by Eugene V. Debs of the American Railway Union (ARU).

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