This Day in History… July 9, 1863

Siege of Port Hudson Ends

US #1197 pictures a steamboat on the Mississippi River. Click image to order.

On July 9, 1863, Confederate forces surrendered Port Hudson, ending a 48-day siege.

Henry Halleck, commander of all the Union Armies, told General Nathaniel Banks that President Lincoln “regards opening the Mississippi River as the first and most important of all our military and naval operations.”  By May of 1863, the Union Army had gained control of the Mississippi River, except between the fortified areas of Port Hudson, Louisiana, and Vicksburg, Mississippi.  As long as the South held that section of the river, the main Confederate supply line from the Western states, the Red River, remained open. 

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This Day in History… July 8, 1916

Acadia National Park

US #746 pictures the park’s rock formation, “Great Head.”

On July 8, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson created Sieur de Monts National Monument, which later became Acadia National Park.  The park is located on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, Isle Au Haut, on the Schoodic Peninsula.

The Wabanaki people were some of the first known residents of present-day Acadia, arriving as much as 5,000 years ago.  They called Mount Desert Island Pemetic, which means “range of mountains” or “the sloping land.”  With entire families in each canoe, they traveled there seasonally to hunt, fish, and collect the bountiful natural harvest.

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This Day in History… July 7, 1838

Railway Mail

US #2265 pictures a railroad mail car. Click image to order.

On July 7, 1838, Congress approved an act that declared all United States railroads as post roads.  This would lead to a dramatic increase in the use of railroads to deliver mail.

In the 1830s, businesses and individuals began to complain that mail delivery was too slow.  At the time, it was carried by horse and stagecoach. 

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This Day in History… July 6, 1747

Happy Birthday, John Paul Jones

US #1789 was issued on the 200th anniversary of Jones’ most famous battle.

Naval commander John Paul Jones was born John Paul on July 6, 1747, in Arbigland, Kirkcudbright, Scotland. 

Jones began his life at sea at the age of 13, apprenticing aboard a series of merchant and slave ships.  On a voyage in 1768, the captain and first mate of the ship he was on both died of yellow fever.  Jones successfully returned the ship to a safe port and was made the master of the ship and its crew.

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This Day in History… July 5, 1801

Happy Birthday David Farragut 

US #311 is one of the scarcest stamps from the Series of 1902-03. Click image to order.

David Glasgow Farragut was born in Campbell’s Station (now Farragut), Tennessee, on July 5, 1801.

Born to a veteran of the Continental Navy, Farragut’s first name was initially James.  After his mother died from yellow fever, Farragut’s father sent him to live with friends in 1808, whom he believed would provide better care.  So Farragut was raised by naval officer David Porter and was a foster brother to David Dixon Porter and William D. Porter.  In 1812, Farragut adopted David as his first name in honor of his foster father.

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This Day in History… July 4, 1872

Birth of Calvin Coolidge 

US #834 from the popular Prexies.  Click image to order.

John Calvin Coolidge Jr. was born on Independence Day, July 4, 1872.  He spent his early years in the New England town of Plymouth Notch, Vermont.

When Coolidge was 19, he enrolled in Amherst College in Massachusetts.  While there, an essay he submitted to a contest sponsored by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution won a gold medal.  In his senior year, Coolidge was chosen by his classmates to deliver the Grove Oration, a humorous speech given at graduation.

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