This Day in History… September 2, 1789

U.S. Treasury Department Founded 

U.S. #O72 – This Official stamp would have been used by members of the Treasury to mail government documents.

In the wake of the American Revolution, Congress established the Treasury Department on September 2, 1789.

During the Revolutionary War, the new American government needed a way to pay for the mounting costs of battle. Congress first appointed a pair of Joint Continental Treasurers to manage finances. After declaring its independence in 1776, America became a sovereign nation that could secure loans from other countries. To oversee the influx of foreign and American money, Michael Hillegas was appointed Treasurer of the United States on May 14, 1777. He was followed by Robert Morris as Superintendent of Finance.

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This Day in History… September 1, 1985

The Titanic is Found 

M6346Titanic photomosaic made up of hundreds of tiny ocean-related pictures including coral reef, exotic marine life, waves, and even icebergs.

More than 70 years after one of the world’s most famous ships tragically sank, it was discovered largely intact on the ocean floor on September 1, 1985.

The sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912 was one of the worst – and most well-known – maritime disasters ever. More than 1,500 people lost their lives and new measures were taken to make future ships safer.

Over the years, many people wanted to raise the ship, but this was easier said than done. No one knew for sure where exactly the ship had sunk. The location of the distress signal turned out to be inaccurate and researchers’ calculations varied. In the early 1980s, Jack Grimm sponsored several missions to find the ship, but had no luck.

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This Day in History… August 31, 1997

Princess Diana’s Sudden Death 

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On August 31, 1997, the world was shocked when Princess Diana was involved in a car crash that took her life.

Born on July 1, 1961, Diana had a privileged childhood, growing up at the Park House, owned by the Royal Family. She met Prince Charles at a party in 1977 and the two began to date. Diana quickly went from living a private life to being a public figure. She was photographed almost everywhere she went and became a fashion icon.

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This Day in History… August 30, 1967

Thurgood Marshall Appointed Supreme Court Justice 

U.S. #3746

On August 30, 1967, Thurgood Marshall became America’s first African American Supreme Court Justice.

The great-grandson of slaves, Marshall graduated first in his class at Howard University Law School. In 1934, he began a 21-year affiliation with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Marshall was the first director-counsel of the NAACP’s legal defense and education fund.

Marshall won a series of important civil rights cases during the 1930s and won 29 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Based on his impressive record, the United Nations asked Marshall to help draft the constitutions of the emerging African nations of Ghana and what is now Tanzania.

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This Day in History… August 29, 1869

Marsh’s “Railway to the Moon” 

U.S. #2463

On August 29, 1869, Sylvester Marsh demonstrated the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway, earning the recognition and funds needed to complete it.

In 1857, Marsh, a businessman, visited New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Tourism in the era had just recently begun expanding, so roads and paths were not fully developed. On a sunny August afternoon, Marsh and a friend hiked up Mount Washington. After passing the tree line they became caught in the middle of a terrible storm with hurricane winds, freezing rain, and near-darkness. They lost their way, but eventually found one of the mountain’s hotels. Once they reached the safety of the hotel, Marsh realized what his new mission was – to create a safe and easy way to climb the mountain.

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This Day in History… August 28, 1963

March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” Speech 

U.S. #4804

As African Americans struggled against segregation and mistreatment, Civil Rights leaders organized the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963.

Even after the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in 1954, racial equality didn’t exist in much of America. The civil rights movement of the 1960s, led by Martin Luther King Jr., changed that. Under his guidance, many people of all races united on behalf of equality. Continue reading

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