1918 6¢ Curtiss Jenny
February 22, 1921

Transcontinental Airmail 

On February 22, 1921, experimental overnight transcontinental airmail flights between San Francisco and New York were launched. Despite a rocky start, the flights were a resounding success, earning support and funding for expanded service.

Read Article
1998 32¢ Celebrate the Century - 1920s: Lindbergh
February 4, 1902

Happy Birthday Lucky Lindy! 

Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born on February 4, 1902, in Detroit, Michigan. An aviation pioneer, he made the first successful non-stop flight across the Atlantic and contributed to the war effort in the Pacific Theater of World War II.

Read Article
2005 37¢ Advances in Aviation: Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star
June 22, 1946

First Airmail Carried by Jet

On June 22, 1946, US Airmail was carried by jet for the first time.  The flight was part of an event to showcase how GE’s aviation products could positively impact people’s lives and the future.

Read Article
1990 50¢ Harriet Quimby
April 16, 1912

First Woman to Fly Across the English Channel

On April 16, 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.  She had a brief, but significant aviation career, becoming a pioneer and inspiration for countless female flyers.

Read Article
1948 5¢ DC-4 Skymaster Horizontal Coil
January 15, 1948

First Airmail Coil Stamp

The first US Airmail coil stamp was issued on January 15, 1948, in Washington, DC. Only a few more coil stamps would be issued over the next 30 years, but the DC-4 SkyMaster would appear on more than a dozen postal items.

Read Article
1991 19¢ Hot Air Balloon stamp
January 9, 1793

First Flown Letter in America

On January 9, 1793, Jean-Pierre Blanchard carried the first letter by hot air balloon in America.  The letter came from President George Washington, an avid balloon enthusiast.

Read Article
1933 50¢ Century of Progress Issue
October 2, 1933

The “Baby Zepp”

On October 2, 1933, the Century of Progress airmail stamp, affectionately known as “Baby Zepp” was issued.  It sold poorly at the time and 90% of the stamps were destroyed, leaving a relatively small number available today.

Read Article
1930 5¢ Winged Globe Flat Plate Perf 11
September 28, 1933

The Air Mail Scandal of the 1930s

On September 28, 1933, an investigation was launched into the awarding of contracts for airmail flights. The Airmail Fiasco, as it was also known, eventually led to wide-scale improvements to the airline industry and modernization of the Army Air Corps.

Read Article
1978 31¢ Wright Brothers and Plane stamp
September 23, 1978

Pioneers of Aviation Series

On September 23, 1978, the USPS issued the first stamps in its Pioneers of Aviation Series. The series would span more than 20 years and include 18 stamps honoring some of America’s most legendary aviators and their aircraft.

Read Article

Love history?

Discover events in American history – plus the stamps that make them come alive.

Subscribe to get This Day in History stories straight to your inbox every day!