Merian Botanicals stamp
April 2, 1647

Birth of Maria Sibylla Merian

Naturalist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian was born on April 2, 1647, in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. Merian spent her life studying insects and plants and capturing them in beautifully detailed paintings and drawings.

Read Article
2001 E.A. Abbey stamp picturing Galahad's Departure
April 1, 1852

Birth of Edwin A. Abbey

Illustrator Edwin Austin Abbey was born on April 1, 1852, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is considered America’s first great illustrator. Abbey produced hundreds of illustrations for Harper’s magazines and popular books of the day.

Read Article
2001 Parrish stamp
March 30, 1966

Death of Maxfield Parrish

Painter and illustrator Maxfield Parrish died on March 30, 1966. He made a name for himself illustrating children’s books, murals, and magazine covers. His 1922 work Daybreak is considered the most popular art print of the 20th century.

Read Article
1932 Washington stamp
March 25, 1741

Birth of Jean-Antoine Houdon

Renowned sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon was born on March 25, 1741, in Versailles, France. He sculpted a number of high-profile figures during his life, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Fulton, Napoleon Bonaparte, and more.

Read Article
2001 Leyendecker stamp
March 23, 1874

Birth of J.C. Leyendecker

Illustrator Joseph Christian Leyendecker was born on March 23, 1874, in Montabaur, Rhine Province, German Empire. He was one of the most popular and recognized illustrators of his day – popularizing the images of Baby New Year, Santa Claus, and more.

Read Article
2012 William H. Johnson stamp
March 18, 1901

Birth of William H. Johnson

Artist William H. Johnson was born on March 18, 1901, in Florence, South Carolina. He was one of the leading African American artists of the 20th century, best known for his bright folk style paintings.

Read Article
2010 Gottlieb’s Romanesque Façade stamp
March 14, 1903

Birth of Adolph Gottlieb

American artist Adolph Gottlieb was born on March 14, 1903, in New York City, New York. Gottlieb’s art was displayed in more than 250 exhibitions during his lifetime, and he’s considered to be one of the first American artists to embrace the Abstract Expressionist movement.

Read Article
1987 Happy Birthday stamp
March 4, 1924

“Happy Birthday to You”

On March 4, 1924, the song and melody of “Happy Birthday to You” were printed in a songbook.  One of the world’s most famous songs, it has been the center of controversy over ownership and copyright status for years.

Read Article
George Gershwin stamp
February 28, 1973

American Arts Series

On February 28, 1973, the USPS issued the first of seven stamps in its new American Arts Series. The stamps in the series honored artists from several different genres, including painting, music writing, and filmmaking.

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!