1991 29¢ Comedians: Laurel and Hardy
June 21, 1903

Birth of Al Hirschfeld

Legendary illustrator Albert Hirschfeld was born on June 21, 1903, in St. Louis, Missouri.  Hirschfeld’s work was so iconic, the USPS broke their own rules to feature his illustrations on two sets of stamps…

Read Article
1984 20¢ Performing Arts: John McCormack
June 14, 1884

Happy Birthday, John McCormack

Irish tenor John McCormack was born on June 14, 1884, in Athlone, Ireland.  Eventually becoming an American citizen, he was internationally renowned for his singing abilities and breath control.

Read Article
1999 33¢ Celebrate the Century - 1950s: Drive-In Movies
June 6, 1933

First Drive-In Movie Theater

On June 6, 1933, the first drive-in movie theater opened in Camden, New Jersey. The number of drive-ins in the US would eventually grow to over 4,000, becoming a beloved pastime for millions.

Read Article
2009 44¢ Bob Hope
May 29, 1903

Birth of Bob Hope

Leslie Townes “Bob” Hope was born on May 29, 1903, in Eltham, London, England. Hope was the most honored entertainer in history, but his greatest legacy was the gift of laughter he brought to millions of American service men and women stationed far from home.

Read Article
2005 37¢ Legends of Hollywood: Henry Fonda
May 16, 1905

Happy Birthday Henry Fonda 

Henry Jaynes Fonda was born on May 16, 1905, in Grand Island, Nebraska.  Known for his roles in The Grapes of Wrath, 12 Angry Men, and On Golden Pond, among many others, Fonda was one of the most successful actors of his era.  He was named the sixth greatest male screen legend of the Classic Hollywood era.

Read Article
1993 29¢ Legends of American Music: Ritchie Valens
May 13, 1941

Birth of Ritchie Valens

Richard Steven Valenzuela, known as Richie Valens, was born on May 13, 1941, in Pacoima, Los Angeles, California. Valens was a pioneer of Chicano rock and Latin rock, often considered the first Latino performer to successfully crossover to mainstream rock ‘n’ roll.

Read Article
2007 39¢ Black Heritage: Ella Fitzgerald
April 25, 1917

Birth of Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Jane Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917, in Newport News, Virginia. Her pure, ageless voice spanned three octaves, and she was known as the First Lady of Song, the Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella.

Read Article
1999 33¢ Legends of Hollywood: James Cagney
March 30, 1986

Death of James Cagney

Academy Award-winner James Cagney died on March 30, 1986.  He was once called “maybe the greatest actor who ever appeared in front of a camera.”

Read Article
1964 5¢ American Music
February 13, 1914

Founding of ASCAP

On February 13, 1914, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) was founded in New York City.  The organization works to protect musical copyrights in various media.

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!