This Day in History… October 3, 1789 and 1863

U.S. #3546 – Though Thanksgiving celebrations were held since the 1620s, they didn’t become an annual holiday until 1863.

Thanksgiving Day Proclamations

On October 3, 1789 and 1863, two sitting presidents called on Americans to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving in November.

Though colonists had held harvest celebrations of thanks since the 1620s, it wasn’t an official holiday celebrated everywhere. That changed in 1789. On September 25, Elias Boudinot presented a resolution to the House of Representatives asking that President Washington “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer… [for] the many signal favors of Almighty God.”

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Posted in October 2015, This Day in History | 17 Comments

This Day in History… October 2, 1968

U.S. #4378 – Redwood National Park is home to “Hyperion,” the tallest known living tree. Discovered in 2006, it stands over 379 feet tall and is estimated to contain over 18,000 cubic feet of wood.

Redwood National Park Established

On October 2, 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation establishing Redwood National Park.

Redwoods are some of the world’s tallest trees and are unique to the California and Oregon coasts. For centuries, Native Americans used these giant trees, which were easily split, to build their houses and boats. Jedediah Smith, the first American to travel up the California coast and see the redwoods, called them “the noblest trees” he’d ever seen.

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Posted in October 2015, This Day in History | 10 Comments

This Day in History… October 1, 1885

U.S. #E1 – The trademark of the Special Delivery stamps was the running post office messenger, who was often referred to as the “running speedy boy.” He is one of the few postal figures who was modeled after a living person. During one session, the engraver was so engrossed in his work he didn’t realize the length of time the boy was forced to stand on one foot. Eventually, the boy became completely exhausted and collapsed to the floor.

Special Delivery Service Begins

On October 1, 1885, the Special Delivery service made its debut, and the U.S. Postal Department issued a 10¢ stamp to inaugurate its new service. Used in addition to the regular postage required, this stamp paid for an extra service – the immediate delivery of a letter within one mile of any other Special Delivery post office.

Assistant Postmaster General Frank Hatton first proposed the Special Delivery Service in 1883. At the time, the Postal Service delivered twice a day in major cities. Private companies were used for urgent business mail that couldn’t wait for those scheduled deliveries. Hatton believed the companies were cutting into the Postal Service’s profits. On March 3, 1885, Congress approved the Special Delivery Service Act.

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This Day in History… September 30, 1955

U.S. #3082 – Dean’s entire career consisted of three major films produced in just 17 months.

James Dean Dies in Car Crash

A rising star in Hollywood, James Dean’s death on September 30, 1955 was a shock to us all.

Dean was a rebel who took the nation by storm during the conservative 1950s. A New York Times article dismissed Dean as “an honor graduate of the black leather jacket and motorcycle school of acting and living it up.” Ironically, that’s exactly what appealed to his youthful following. Dean symbolized the frustration of teenagers everywhere.

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This Day in History… September 29, 1789

U.S. #1565-68 honors the Continental Army and other Revolutionary War troops – the precursors to our modern military.

U.S. Army Established

On September 29, 1789, Congress created the U.S. Army after multiple requests from President George Washington.

After the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army was largely disbanded, as the U.S. legislature believed that a standing army during peace time was dangerous and unnecessary. Some troops remained active to guard munitions and about 700 members of state militias were prepared to take on potential threats from Native Americans and the British.

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Posted in Sept. 2015, This Day in History | 14 Comments

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This Day in History is quickly becoming one of the most popular features on our website. Every day we share neat events from our past and link them to stamps. In the first few months that we've offered this free service, we've explored a variety of interesting topics. Some of the most popular have been the meeting of the Stamp Act Congress, the End of Pony Express Service, the sudden death of President Harding, and story of the Ground Zero flag following the 9/11 attacks on America.

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