This Day in History… September 18, 1870

Old Faithful Geyser 

US #744 – from the 1934 National Parks issue

On September 18, 1870, a group of explorers gave the Old Faithful geyser its name.

During the 1830s, legendary mountain man Jim Bridger returned from Wyoming’s remote Yellowstone region with fantastic tales.  He claimed he had seen waterfalls that spouted upwards!  While many didn’t believe his story, some were excited about what they heard and launched expeditions to see it for themselves.

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This Day in History… September 17, 1923

Happy Birthday, Hank Williams

US #2723 – from the Legends of American Music Series

Hiram King “Hank” Williams was born on September 17, 1923, In Butler County, Alabama.

His father suffered an injury during World War I and went on to spend much of Williams’s childhood in the hospital, leaving his mother to work and raise the children on her own.  They moved several times and she opened a string of boarding houses, but managed to find some stability, even during the Great Depression.

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This Day in History… September 16, 1966

Metropolitan Opera House Opens

US #2054 was issued for the 100th anniversary of the original Met and pictures a view of the modern building.

On September 16, 1966, the Metropolitan Opera House opened at New York’s Lincoln Center, the largest repertory opera house in the world.

In the 1880s, the only opera house in New York City was the Academy of Music.  It was small and didn’t have enough private boxes to accommodate all of the city’s up-and-coming wealthy patrons.

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This Day in History… September 15, 1857

Birth of William Howard Taft

US #687 – Taft was the only person to serve as both president and chief justice of the Supreme Court.

William Howard Taft was born September 15, 1857, near Cincinnati, Ohio.

As a student at Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut, he was a member of the Livonian Society, a literary and debate group.  After graduating second in his class in 1878, he attended Cincinnati Law School.

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This Day in History… September 14, 1908

America’s First Journalism School 

US #1119 was issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the school’s founding.

On September 14, 1908, the University of Missouri School of Journalism became the first such school in the US, and only the second in the world.  (The Superior School of Journalism of Paris opened in 1899.)

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was significant debate over journalism education.  Many people believed that journalism couldn’t be taught in a classroom, rather it had to be learned from an extended apprenticeship.  Journalists needed to have a certain talent for the field that they couldn’t simply learn.

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This Day in History… September 13, 1857

Happy Birthday, Milton Hershey

US #2933 was issued on Hershey’s 138th birthday.

Businessman and philanthropist Milton Snavely Hershey was born on September 13, 1857, in Derry Township, Pennsylvania.

Hershey was the only surviving child of Mennonites Henry and Fannie Hershey.  The family moved often, and he had no formal education after the fourth grade.  In 1871, he apprenticed to a local printer, but found the work boring.  He was fired after accidentally dropping his hat in one of the machines.  While his father asked the printer to give him his job back, his mother and aunt proposed a different apprenticeship –  with a candy maker.

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