This Day in History… March 17, 1902

Happy Birthday, Bobby Jones

US #1933 from the American Sports Series.

Famed golfer Robert Tyre Jones, Jr. (Bobby Jones) was born on March 17, 1902, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jones suffered from a number of health issues as a child and it was suggested he play golf to build his strength.  He loved the sport from the first time he swung a club and won his first children’s tournament when he was just six years old.

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This Day in History… March 16, 1802

Founding of West Point 

US #3560 was issued on this day in 2002 for the school’s 200th anniversary.

On March 16, 1802, the Military Academy at West Point was founded.

Poised above the Hudson River, 50 miles north of New York City, West Point was first established as Fort Arnold, in 1778.  The site was selected because of the unusual S-curve in the Hudson River below.  Military engineer Tadeusz Kościuszko organized the fort’s defenses.

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This Day in History… March 15, 1935

Farley’s Follies 

US #752 – The first Farley’s Folly re-issue with no gum.

On March 15, 1935, the US Post Office reissued 20 stamps known as “Farley’s Special Printings,” which were the result of the biggest stamp scandal of the time – “Farley’s Follies.”

James A. Farley (1888-1976) got his start in politics in 1911 as town clerk of Grassy Point, New York.  He moved his way through the political system, forming the Upstate New York Democratic Organization and bringing many upstate voters to the Democratic Party.

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This Day in History… March 14, 1879

Happy Birthday, Albert Einstein

US #1285 from the Prominent Americans Series.

One of the greatest scientific minds in human history, Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany.

Einstein’s family moved to Munich in 1880 and he would spend most of his childhood there.  He attended the Luitpold Gymnasium (now called the Albert Einstein Gymnasium) before moving with his family to Italy.

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This Day in History… March 13, 1997

First U.S. Triangle Stamps

US #3130-31 were issued for the Pacific ’97 stamp show.

On March 13, 1997, the USPS issued its first triangle-shaped stamps to promote the upcoming Pacific ’97 Stamp Show.

The world’s first triangle-shaped stamps came 144 years earlier.  Issued in 1853, the British colony Cape of Good Hope’s very first stamps were triangle-shaped.  They were reportedly created in that shape to help illiterate postal clerks easily identify the difference in letters that were mailed from within the colony from those that were mailed from other places.

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This Day in History… March 12, 1888

The Blizzard of 1888 and Blizzard Mail 

US #5031-34c – Imperforate geometric snowflakes stamps.

On March 12, 1888, a short-lived blizzard mail service delivered letters to New York City during one of the worst storms in history.

Just two days before, on March 10, temperatures in the northeast were in the mid-50s.  But the next day, cold Arctic air from Canada met with Gulf air from the south sending temperatures plummeting.  The rain quickly became snow and winds reached hurricane-strength – about 85 miles per hour in New York City.

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