This Day in History… May 24, 1978

Performing Arts Series

US #1755 – 1978 13¢ Jimmie Rodgers.

On May 24, 1978, the USPS issued the first stamp in the Performing Arts Series, honoring Jimmie Rodgers.

The Jimmie Rodgers stamp was issued on May 24, 1978, in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi.  The stamp issue coincided with the town’s annual Jimmie Rodgers Festival.  The stamp shows Rodgers as the “Singing Brakeman,” a character based on his previous experience on the railroad that he later also portrayed in a short film.  Called the “Father of Country Music,” Rodgers was the first person ever inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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This Day in History… May 23, 1918

First Commissioned Female Airmail Pilot

US #C3 – The airmail stamp in use at the time of Stinson’s flight. Click image to order.

On May 23, 1918, Katherine Stinson became the first woman hired by the post office to deliver airmail in the US.

Born February 14, 1891, in Fort Payne, Alabama, Katherine’s family played an important role in early aviation.  Her brother Eddie was an airplane manufacturer and her family ran a flight school.

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This Day in History… May 22, 1997

Looney Tunes Series and the Rare Bugs Bunny Imperforate Sheet

US #3137 – The regular perforated Bugs Bunny sheet.

On May 22, 1997, the USPS issued the first stamp in the Looney Tunes Series, honoring Bugs Bunny.

The Bugs Bunny stamp was issued in conjunction with a campaign to launch the USPS’s “Stampers” program.  As the official mascot of Stampers, it was hoped the animated character would help revive youth interest in the hobby of stamp collecting.  A full-color, 12-page magazine was made available through the USPS Philatelic Fulfillment Service Center for a limited time, as part of the Stampers program.

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This Day in History… May 21, 1804

Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery

US #1063 was issued for the 150th anniversary of the expedition. Click image to order.

On May 21, 1804, Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery departed St. Charles on the Missouri River to begin their exploration of the American West.

In 1803, Robert Livingston and James Monroe struck “the greatest real estate deal in history” – the Louisiana Purchase.  As representatives for President Thomas Jefferson, they purchased a 530-million-acre area for $15 million, or about 3¢ per acre.

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This Day in History… May 20, 1950

Armed Forces Day 

US #1067 honors America’s Armed Forces Reserve. Click image to order.

On May 20, 1950, the US first celebrated Armed Forces Day.  Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May, near the end of Armed Forces Week.

US Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson first introduced Armed Forces Day on August 31, 1949.  The Department of Defense (DoD) had been created two years earlier to unite all of the Armed Forces into one department.  The department conceived of the holiday to replace the individual days honoring each of the branches.

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This Day in History… May 19, 1864

Death of Nathaniel Hawthorne

US #2047 – Hawthorne was the third honoree in the Literary Arts Series. Click image to order. 

American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, while on a trip with former president Franklin Pierce to the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts.  In 1816, Hawthorne’s family moved to Maine.  He greatly enjoyed his time there, saying they were “delightful days, for that part of the country was wild then, with only scattered clearings.”

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