This Day in History… January 9, 1788

US #772 – Click the image to read the neat story behind Connecticut’s famed “Charter Oak.”

Connecticut Becomes Fifth State

On January 9, 1788, Connecticut ratified the US Constitution, making it the fifth state to join the young United States.

English colonists from Massachusetts founded Connecticut’s first permanent European settlement, Windsor, in 1633.  Most of these settlers left Massachusetts seeking political and religious freedom.  Other settlements quickly followed, including Hartford, New London, Saybrook, and Wethersfield.  In 1636, Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor united to form the Connecticut Colony, also known as the River Colony.
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This Day in History… January 8, 1963

Alaska’s Final Dog Sled Mail Route 

US #2135 – from the Transportation Series

On January 8, 1963, Chester Noongwook made his final trip delivering mail in Alaska via dog sled.

Mail delivery in Alaska has long been more of a challenge than in other parts of the United States.  The extreme temperatures and long stretches of undeveloped land in the 1800s made mail delivery difficult.

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This Day in History… January 7, 1785

First Known Mail Delivered by Air 

US #2530 – from the Mini-scapes Series

On January 7, 1785, mail was carried by an air vehicle for the first time.

The honor of flying that first airmail delivery went to Jean-Pierre Blanchard of France.  Blanchard was a balloon flight pioneer.

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This Day in History… January 6, 1941

US #908 – FDR personally selected this stamp design to show the world why the US entered the war. 

Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms

On January 6, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt gave his “Four Freedoms” speech while delivering the State of the Union Address.

By January 1941, World War II had wreaked havoc across the globe.  Germany invaded Poland, Belgium, and Holland.  Additionally, France had been defeated by a German blitz, the Soviet Union invaded Finland, and Japan was ruthlessly battling China.
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This Day in History… January 5, 1972

Birth of the Space Shuttle Program 

US #3190a – from the Celebrate the Century – 1980s Sheet

On January 5, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed legislation authorizing the creation of America’s first space shuttle, the “world’s first reusable spacecraft.”

NASA began studying the possibility of space shuttles in the late 1960s.  Then in 1969, President Nixon created the Space Task Group, led by Vice President Spiro Agnew.  The group established a list of missions that included the creation of space vehicles, a space station, and eventually a manned mission to Mars.

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This Day in History… January 4, 1896

Birth of Everett Dirksen 

US #1874 was issued on Dirksen’s 85th birthday.  

Statesman Everett McKinley Dirksen was born on January 4, 1896, in Pekin, Illinois.

Born to German immigrants, Dirksen had a fraternal twin and another brother.  His father died when he was just nine years old.  The Dirksen family farm was on the outskirts of Pekin in an area known as Beantown because they grew beans instead of flowers.

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