This Day in History… February 25, 1980

National Letter Writing Week 

US #1805-06 were issued on this day in 1980. Click image to order.

On February 25, 1980, the USPS issued a set of stamps commemorating National Letter Writing Week.  Those stamps marked the first time that the USPS issued a sheet of stamps with three sets of vertical pairs.

In 1980, National Letter Writing Week ran from February 24 through March 1.  It was the first time the US observed Letter Writing Week in 15 years.  But they invested a great deal of time and effort into promoting it.

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This Day in History… February 24, 1779

Siege of Vincennes 

US #651 was issued for the 150th anniversary of this victory. Click image to order.

On February 24, 1779, George Rogers Clark led a siege of Vincennes, forcing the British to surrender.

After the French and Indian War, the British occupied the majority of the trans-Appalachian frontier.  They soon passed the Proclamation of 1763, making the settlement of land west of the Appalachian Mountains illegal for colonists.  The British responded harshly to settlers who ignored this decree, sending Native American war parties after trespassers.

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This Day in History… February 23, 1905

Rotary Club Founded

US #1066 was issued on the Rotary Club’s 50th anniversary. Click image to order.

On February 23, 1905, the Rotary Club was founded in Chicago, Illinois.

The Rotary Club was founded at the request of attorney Paul P. Harris.  He invited two business acquaintances – coal merchant Silvester Schiele and tailor Hiram E. Shorey to meet him in the office of Gustave Loehr, a mining engineer and freemason.

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This Day in History… February 22, 1921

Transcontinental Airmail 

US #C1 – The third and final airmail issued in 1918 that would have been in use at the time of this flight. Click image to order.

On February 22, 1921, overnight transcontinental airmail service in the US began with flights between San Francisco and New York.

When US airmail service first began in 1918, it was a success, making more money than it spent.  However, in the years that followed, it lost money because of increased costs due to a higher number of routes, greater distances traveled, and more mail that weighed down the planes.

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This Day in History… February 21, 1916

Battle of Verdun 

US #2154 honors veterans of WWI. Click image to order.

On February 21, 1916, one of the longest battles on the Western Front began at Verdun.

German general Erich von Falkenhayn considered England to be his country’s most important enemy.  Because the French shielded that nation from his reach, von Falkenhayn plotted to destroy that army first.  He sought a target so valued by the French that they would sacrifice their entire army to defend it.  Afterward, von Falkenhayn planned to march his troops swiftly on to England.

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This Day in History… February 20, 1962

First American Orbit of Earth 

US #1193 was produced in secrecy to coincide with Glenn’s flight.  Click image to order. 

On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth aboard his Friendship 7 capsule.

Born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio, John Glenn was enrolled in college when World War II began.  Because he had earned his private pilot’s license, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  He wasn’t called up quickly, so he joined the Navy in March 1942.  He was reassigned to the Marines in 1943 and flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific.

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