This Day in History… October 13, 1775

Creation of the Continental Navy

US #1354 – America’s first navy jack that flew during the war.

On October 13, 1775, the Second Continental Congress authorized the creation of a Navy.

Previously, the British had imposed martial law in Boston and Americans wanted to capture British supplies and ammunition bound for that city.  Before the creation of the Continental Congress, George Washington took command of several ships to start intercepting the British vessels.  At the same time, several colonial governments began preparing their own warships.

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This Day in History… October 12, 1901

Renaming the White House 

US #809 from the Presidential Series.

On October 12, 1901, the Executive Mansion, the president’s official residence and workplace, was renamed the White House.

In 1792, President George Washington held a public competition to find a design for the president’s home and office in Washington, DC.  Thomas Jefferson was among those that submitted designs, but James Hoban created the winning plan.

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This Day in History… October 11, 1776

Battle of Valcour Island 

US #1566 honors the Continental Navy.

On October 11, 1776, the US Navy participated in one of its first naval battles of the Revolutionary War at Valcour Bay.

After the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, American forces attempted to invade Quebec because they believed the British would use it as a starting point to attack and divide the colonies.  However, the British fought back their attack and launched their own offensive toward the Hudson River.  Their goal was to capture Lake Champlain and the upper Hudson River to link their forces in Quebec with those in New York City.

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This Day in History… October 10, 1845

US Naval Academy Opened

US #794 from the 1937 Army and Navy Issue.

Decades after America’s first ships took to the oceans to defend its interests, the US Naval Academy was opened on October 10, 1845.

The Continental Navy was founded during the American Revolutionary War to battle the Royal Navy at sea. And in 1783, Revolutionary naval hero John Paul Jones first proposed that America establish a school to train midshipmen. But after the war ended, the navy was demobilized to save money.

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This Day in History… October 9, 1920

First National Fire Prevention Day Proclamation

US #971 commemorates the 300th anniversary of the first volunteer fire department in America.

On October 9, 1920, President Woodrow Wilson declared issued the first presidential proclamation of Fire Prevention Day.  Fire Prevention Day is held in October to commemorate and remind us of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

The fire started on October 8, 1871, at around 9:00 pm in or near the barn of the O’Leary family.  Fire officials were never able to figure out the exact cause of the fire.  Some theories include that the family’s cow knocked over a lantern or that a group of men were gambling in the barn and knocked over a lantern.  Others suggest the fire was linked to other fires in the Midwest that same day.

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This Day in History… October 8, 1890

Happy Birthday, Fast Eddie! 

US #2998 was issued for a new half-ounce rate for letters to countries other than Canada and Mexico.

Eddie Vernon Rickenbacker was born on October 8, 1890, in Columbus, Ohio.

Rickenbacker’s love of all things mechanical began in his childhood, partly inspired by his father’s words, “a machine has to have a purpose.” His experiments and fearlessness led to several near-death experiences early in life, including a run-in with a horse-drawn carriage and an accident while riding a cart down the slope of a mine.

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