This Day in History… July 22, 1933

Wiley Post Completes First Solo Trip Around the Globe 

U.S. #C95-96

Having already broken the record for flying around the planet, Wiley Post set out to do it again, this time without the aid of a navigator. Not only did he succeed, but he completed the flight in less time, while also experimenting with new technologies.

Post had dreamt of a life in the clouds since the first time he saw an airplane at a county fair when he was 15. He got his start as a skydiver and quickly moved up to pilot. In 1931, he and his navigator, Harold Gatty, broke the record for traveling around the world previously set by the Graf Zeppelin.

In spite of this great accomplishment, Post often heard suggestions that Gatty had directed the effort, and earned more acclaim. Post set out immediately to prove his critics wrong. Equipping his plane with new technology – an early form of autopilot and a radio direction finder – he left Floyd Bennett Field in New York on July 15, 1933. Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 2 Comments

This Day in History… July 21, 1865

“Wild Bill” Hickok Wins the First Western Showdown 

U.S. #2869o

Standing in the dusty town square of Springfield, Missouri, on July 21, 1865, Wild Bill Hickok fired a single shot, killing Davis Tutt in what’s considered America’s first Western showdown.

Despite their repeated use in films and books, shootouts weren’t as common in the Old West as one may think. Most confrontations came in the form of drunk bar brawls, and sneaky ambushes were more common than planned showdowns.

But in July 1865, Union Army veteran Hickok was in a heated feud with his former friend, Tutt. The two had a falling-out over a woman and Tutt repeatedly harassed Hickok in the saloon. Tutt then took Hickok’s prized pocket watch as collateral for a supposed debt. When they couldn’t settle the matter, Hickok threatened that Tutt “shouldn’t come across that square unless dead men can walk.” Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 2 Comments

This Day in History… July 20, 1969

Neil Armstrong Becomes First Man to Walk on the Moon 

U.S. #C76

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong uttered this now famous phrase as he took man’s first step on the Moon. It was a defining moment in American and world history, and set us on the path for decades of space exploration.

The culmination of the Space Race with the Soviet Union, the Apollo 11 mission launched from Florida on July 16. Four days later, Armstrong set his foot on the Moon at 10:56 p.m. E.D.T, as the world watched through a live television feed. Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 2 Comments

This Day in History… July 19, 1848

First Women’s Rights Convention is Held in U.S. 

U.S. #959

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott (pictured on this stamp) heralded the start of the women’s rights movement on July 19, 1848, when they hosted the first convention on the rights of women in the U.S.

The two had met years earlier when they were both refused admission to the World Anti-Slavery Convention because they were women. They sent out a call in a local newspaper that was answered by 200 women on July 19. Stanton shared her “Declaration of Sentiments and Grievances,” which was modeled after the Declaration of Independence, but also brought up the injustices women faced. Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 6 Comments

This Day in History… July 18, 1927

Ty Cobb Becomes First Member of the 4,000 Hit Club 

U.S. #3408d

July 18, 1927, was just another day on the field as far as Ty Cobb was concerned. Playing for the Philadelphia Athletics, he received a warm welcome from the fans of his former team, the Detroit Tigers.  Ty went on to get two hits in four at-bats. But for baseball fans, its an important day – the day Cobb got his 4,000th hit, a first in the sport’s history.

Other players had gotten over 3,000 hits before. But little attention was given to such statistics in those days. In fact, the game’s announcers and most newspapers didn’t even mention the feat. And the one paper that did mention his hit in the first inning called it a “fluke double,” as the ball bounced out of the right-fielder’s glove. Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 3 Comments

This Day in History… July 17, 1955

Disneyland Opens to Massive Crowd 

U.S. #1355

Renowned animator Walt Disney had long dreamed of opening an amusement park to share his bustling creativity with children and adults alike. His dream finally came true on July 17, 1955, with the opening of Disneyland – though the day didn’t go quite as he’d planned.

After a year of construction, and a $17 million investment, invitations went out to 6,000 studio employees, construction workers, sponsors, members of the press, and their families. However, counterfeit passes were made and over 28,000 people showed up, causing major traffic jams.

And that wasn’t the only problem. The larger crowd meant that vendors ran out of food and drinks. Some of the asphalt was still fresh and women’s high-heeled shoes got stuck. Continue reading

Posted in July 2015, This Day in History | 1 Comment