This Day in History… December 21, 1920

Pilgrim Tercentenary Issue 

US #548 pictures the Mayflower.  Click the image to order.

On December 21, 1920, the US Post Office Department issued a set of three stamps honoring the 300th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Pilgrims never intended to be wanderers.  They were devout Christians who felt that only by breaking all ties with the Church of England could they retain their integrity before God.  They went to Holland first, but their plight didn’t improve.  So they set sail for America on September 16, 1620.

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This Day in History… December 20, 1812

Death of Sacagawea 

US #2869s from the Legends of the West sheet.

December 20, 1812, is generally believed to be the day that Sacagawea died in Kenel, South Dakota.

There’s limited information about Sacagawea’s early life, including her birth date, though many historians believe she was born in May 1788 near present-day Salmon, Idaho.  She was a member of the Agaidika (Salmon Eater) of the Lemhi Shoshone tribe.

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This Day in History… December 19, 1915

Birth of Edith Piaf 

US #4692 pictures an undated photo of Piaf on a Paris stage.

Singer, songwriter, and actress Édith Giovanna Gassion, better known as Édith Piaf was born on December 19, 1915, in Belleville, Paris, France.

The future star was named after Edith Cavell, a World War I nurse that had helped French soldiers escape Germany.  She took the name Piaf (slang for sparrow) in her 20s.

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This Day in History… December 18, 1966

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

US #3835 pictures Dr. Seuss with several of his characters, including the Grinch tugging at his tie.

On December 18, 1966, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! premiered on TV.

Dr. Seuss’ earliest story involving the Grinch was a 32-line poem called “The Hoobub and the Grinch,” which appeared in the May 1955 edition of Redbook magazine.  Two years later, Seuss began writing How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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This Day in History… December 17, 1807

Birth of John Greenleaf Whittier 

US #865 from the Famous American Poets issue.  Click the image to order.

John Greenleaf Whittier was born on December 17, 1807, at his family’s rural homestead in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Whittier grew up on his family’s farm, which saw frequent visitors over the years.  The farm wasn’t very profitable and only provided the family with enough to sustain their lives.  Whittier suffered from poor health from the time he was a child and never really enjoyed the hard labor of farm life.

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This Day in History… December 16, 1944

the Battle of the Bulge

US #2838j – The only stamp in all of the US WWII sheets to picture a winter scene. Click the image to order.

On December 16, 1944, the Battle of the Bulge began.

On July 25, 1944, Allied troops broke through German lines at Saint-Lo, France, and a month later, Paris was liberated after four long years of Nazi occupation.  Driving forward, General George S. Patton pushed eastward toward the Rhine River, while British commander Bernard Montgomery swept into Belgium, capturing Antwerp on September 4th.  By the late fall, the US and British forces had managed to drive the Germans back to their own borders.
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