This Day in History… April 8, 1888

Birth of Dennis Chávez 

US #2186 from the Great Americans Series.  Click image to order.

The first American-born Hispanic senator, Dionisio “Dennis” Chávez was born on April 8, 1888, in Los Chaves, New Mexico.

Chávez’s family had lived in Los Chaves for generations.  In fact, he always prided himself in saying he was “American before Plymouth Rock,” because he had ancestors that lived in the New World on a Spanish land grant in the 17th century.

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This Day in History… April 7, 1856

SS Adriatic

US #117 was the first US postage stamp to picture a ship.

On April 7, 1856, the SS Adriatic was launched.

The Adriatic was built by the New York & Liverpool United States Mail Steamship Company, which was founded in 1818.  Also known as the Collins Line, it was founded by Israel Collins and later expanded by his son Edward Knight Collins.

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This Day in History… April 6, 1866

Grand Army of the Republic

US #985 was issued one day after the GAR’s final encampment in 1949. Click image to order.

On April 6, 1866, in Springfield, Illinois, Dr. Benjamin F. Stephenson founded the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) to bring together Civil War veterans.

After the Civil War, state and local organizations were founded throughout the country to help veterans stay in contact with each other.  These organizations were created to provide fellowship and aid to those veterans in need.

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This Day in History… April 5, 1973

Launch of Pioneer 11

US #2573 from the 1991 Space Exploration Issue.

On April 5, 1973 (some sources cite April 6 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)), the Pioneer 11 space probe launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The Pioneer program was a series of unmanned missions that explored the planets before leaving the solar system.  Pioneer 10 and 11 were both approved in February 1969 and were the first probes to be designed to explore the outer solar system.

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This Day in History… April 4, 1968

$1 Airlift Stamp

US #1341 was issued on this day in 1968.  Click image to order.  

On April 4, 1968, the USPS issued a $1 stamp that, when combined with a parcel post stamp, was used to send mail and packages to American service members overseas.

This stamp was issued for parcel airlift, a service that provided for air transportation.  It guaranteed delivery on a space available basis to or from a military post office outside of the 48 contiguous United States.

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This Day in History… April 3, 1783

Treaty of Amity and Commerce with Sweden

US #2036 was issued for the 200th anniversary of this treaty.  Click image to order.

On April 3, 1783, the US signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with Sweden, the first such treaty between the US and a nation that wasn’t an ally in the Revolutionary War.

In April 1782, Benjamin Franklin and other American Peace Commissioners began peace talks with Great Britain, in the hopes of bringing about an end to the Revolutionary War.  As soon as these talks began, Sweden’s King Gustavus III immediately pushed for a treaty of his own with the United States.

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