This Day in History… January 10, 1776

Paine’s Common Sense Published 

US #1292 from the Prominent Americans series.  Click the image to buy.

On January 10, 1776, Common Sense, a persuasive pamphlet encouraging Americans to declare independence from Great Britain, was published anonymously.

Common Sense was written by Englishman Thomas Paine, who was born in Thetford, Norfolk, England, on February 9, 1737. Paine worked as a stay-maker (creating the rope stays used on sailing ships), customs and excise officer, tobacco shop owner, and teacher.

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This Day in History… January 9, 1793

First Flown Letter in America

US #2032-35 were issued for the 200th anniversary of the first balloon flight.  Click the image to buy.

On January 9, 1793, Jean-Pierre Blanchard carried the first letter by hot air balloon in America.

By 1793, Blanchard was well-known as a balloon aviator.  He made the first flight across the English Channel, which was also the first time mail was ever carried by air (we shared this tale on January 7).  He also made the first balloon flights in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland.

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This Day in History… January 8, 1963

Alaska’s Final Dog Sled Mail Route 

US #2135 from the Transportation Series. Click the image to buy.

On January 8, 1963, Chester Noongwook made his final trip delivering mail in Alaska via dog sled.

Mail delivery in Alaska has long been more of a challenge than in other parts of the United States.  The extreme temperatures and long stretches of undeveloped land in the 1800s made mail delivery difficult.

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This Day in History… January 7, 1785

First Known Mail Delivered by Air 

US #2530 from the Mini-scapes Series.

On January 7, 1785, mail was carried by an air vehicle for the first time.

The honor of flying that first airmail delivery went to Jean-Pierre Blanchard of France.  Blanchard was a balloon flight pioneer.

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This Day in History… January 6, 1941

U.S. #908 – FDR personally selected this stamp design to show the world why the U.S. entered the war.  Click the image to buy.

Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms

On January 6, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt gave his “Four Freedoms” speech while delivering the State of the Union Address.

By January 1941, World War II had wreaked havoc across the globe.  Germany invaded Poland, Belgium, and Holland.  Additionally, France had been defeated by a German blitz, leaving England the lone nation against Germany.  The Soviet Union invaded Finland, and Japan was ruthlessly battling China.
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This Day in History… January 5, 1972

Birth of the Space Shuttle Program 

US #3190a from the Celebrate the Century – 1980s sheet.  Click the image to buy.

On January 5, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed legislation authorizing the creation of America’s first space shuttle, the “world’s first reusable spacecraft.”

NASA began studying the possibility of space shuttles in the late 1960s.  Then in 1969, President Nixon created the Space Task Group, led by Vice President Spiro Agnew.  The group established a list of missions that included the creation of space vehicles, a space station, and eventually a manned mission to Mars.

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