This Day in History… September 28, 1781

U.S. #703 honors the commanding generals at Yorktown: Washington, Rochambeau, and Degrasse.

Siege of Yorktown Begins

On September 28, 1781, American forces launched the last major land battle of the Revolutionary War – the Siege of Yorktown.

During the American Revolution, the ability to resupply armies, deploy troops, and transport munitions stored in towns along Virginia’s inland water routes was dependent on control of the Chesapeake Bay. The British campaign to secure this vital region ultimately led to the surrender of British General Cornwallis and an American victory in its war for independence.

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This Day in History… September 27, 1821

U.S. #1157 – This stamp marks the start of Mexico’s war for independence in 1810, though Spain didn’t recognize it until the war’s end in 1821.

Mexico Gains Independence from Spain

After more than a decade of fighting and over 20,000 casualties, Mexico officially gained its independence from Spain on September 27, 1821.

Mexico had been under Spanish control since 1521 and rarely challenged it until the early 1800s with Napoleon’s occupation of Spain. It was then that Mexican priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla launched a revolt.

On the night of September 15-16, 1810, Hidalgo declared war on the colonial government in what has been named the Grito de Dolores, or Cry of Dolores. By morning, the revolutionary army sought independence and marched to Guanajuato, an important mining center controlled by the Spaniards and creoles (people of pure or mostly Spanish ancestry). The Spaniards and creoles locked themselves in the granary, but were captured on September 28. Most were killed or exiled.

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This Day in History… September 26, 1960

U.S. #1287 – Kennedy went on to win the presidency by the closest margin in the 20th century.

America’s First Televised Presidential Debate

On September 26, 1960, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon took part in America’s first televised debate, which revealed just how important this growing medium would be on future politics.

Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts and Vice President Richard Nixon were in a close race for the presidency during the 1960 elections. So it was decided that they would face off in a debate – the first ever in America for the presidency. Furthermore, it was also be televised, which was another first.

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This Day in History… September 25, 1957

U.S. #3937d – Today Little Rock Central School is a National Historic Site that’s home to a Civil Rights Museum.

The Little Rock Nine Enter High School Under Federal Protection

After being initially denied entrance to their school, the Little Rock Nine were escorted in by federal troops on September 25, 1957.

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision stating “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” It declared state laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional and a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. A victory for civil rights advocates, the decision paved the way for integration. But the ruling was not acted on in all parts of the U.S., including Little Rock, Arkansas.

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This Day in History… September 24, 1906

U.S. #1084 – There have been several attempts to rename Devils Tower to honor its Native American history.

Devils Tower Becomes First American National Monument

On September 24, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt declared Devils Tower in Wyoming to be the first National Monument under the Antiquities Act.

Devils Tower is a nearly vertical monolith of volcanic rock which rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River, which meanders below it. This rock formation is believed to be about 40 million years old. Once buried, erosion slowly stripped away the softer soils that once covered this impressive landmark.

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This Day in History… September 23, 1779

U.S. #1789 – Jones’ famous words became the slogan for the U.S. Navy.

John Paul Jones Captures British Vessels

During a naval battle with the British, John Paul Jones refused to surrender and won an impressive victory on September 23, 1779.

Born in Scotland, John Paul Jones traveled to America as a cabin boy. He worked as a businessman with his brother in Fredericksburg, Virginia and later served on slave and merchant ships. When the American Revolution broke out, Jones went to Philadelphia to offer his services and was commissioned a senior lieutenant in the Continental Navy.

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