This Day in History… September 12, 1962

“We choose to go to the Moon” Speech

Item #M11851 – Mint sheet honoring Kennedy’s role in the Moon landing

On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered one of his most famous and stirring speeches, to generate support for the Apollo program.

The Space Race began on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union launched the world’s first artificial satellite.  Originally, the Soviet Union planned to launch a much larger satellite, known to its designers as “Object D.”  However, the telemetry system was not functioning as needed, and a lower than expected impulse of the launch rocket delayed the project.  Fearing that the Americans would launch a satellite first, a decision was made to develop a much simpler rocket concurrently.  Sputnik was smaller than a basketball and carried only a radio transmitter instead of multiple scientific instruments.  Object D would be launched successfully as Sputnik-3 on May 15, 1958.

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This Day in History… September 11, 1913

Birth of Bear Bryant

US #3148 was issued at the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Football star and coach Paul William “Bear” Bryant was born on September 11, 1913, in Moro Bottom, Arkansas.

Bryant received his nickname when he was 13 years old and had agreed to wrestle a captive bear for a carnival promotion.  While his mother wanted him to be a minister, he knew he wanted to be a coach.

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This Day in History… September 10, 1851

Death of Thomas Gallaudet 

US #1861 from the Great Americans Series.

Deaf education pioneer, Thomas Gallaudet, died on September 10, 1851.

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet was born on December 10, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  From a young age he wanted to be a priest, but also considered other vocations.  He graduated from Yale University at 17 before earning his master’s degree there three years later.

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This Day in History… September 9, 1969

First Man on the Moon Stamp

US #C76 was issued on this day in 1969.

On September 9, 1969, the US Post Office issued its first ever jumbo-sized commemorative stamp.

Plans for a commemorative stamp honoring the 1969 moon landing were extremely secretive.  Few people were involved in the process and there was virtually no paperwork.  The stamp wasn’t even announced to the public until July 9, 1969, a week before the launch of Apollo 11.  As the postmaster general announced that day, “Apollo 11 will mark America’s first mail run to the Moon.”

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This Day in History… September 8, 1900

Happy Birthday Claude Pepper

US #3426 was issued for Pepper’s 100th birthday.

Claude Denson Pepper was born on September 8, 1900, in Chambers County, Alabama.

After graduating from high school, Pepper had several different jobs. He ran a hat cleaning and repair business and was a teacher.  He even worked in a steel mill before finally going to the University of Alabama.  Pepper joined the Student Army Training Corps during World War I, but didn’t see service.  He went on to graduate from the University of Alabama in 1921, and then from Harvard Law in 1924.

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This Day in History… September 7, 1860

Happy Birthday Grandma Moses 

US #1370 was issued for Senior Citizen’s Month.  It pictures a painting Moses completed when she was 91 years old.

American folk artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses (popularly known as Grandma Moses) was born on September 7, 1860, in Greenwich, New York.

Moses was the third of ten children born to a farmer.  She attended a one-room schoolhouse, which is now the Bennington Museum in Vermont.  It hosts the largest collection of her art in the world.

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