Exploration

1974 10¢ First Kentucky Settlement
June 11, 1940

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was established on June 11, 1940, along the Kentucky-Virginia border. The park preserves and honors the “first great gateway to the West.”

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1971 8¢ Missouri Statehood
March 29, 1827

Founding of Independence, Missouri

On March 29, 1867, Independence, Missouri, was founded. Known as the “Queen City of the Trails,” it became the starting point for several trails that carried thousands of settlers to the West.

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1969 6¢ John Wesley Powell
March 24, 1834

Birth of John Wesley Powell 

Soldier, geologist, and explorer John Wesley Powell was born on March 24, 1834, in Mount Morris, New York.  A Civil War veteran, Powell explored and produced some of the first accurate maps of the West and later was director of the US Geological Survey.

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 2002 37¢ Masters of American Photography: Timothy H. O'Sullivan stamp
January 14, 1882

Death of Timothy O’Sullivan

Timothy H. O’Sullivan died from tuberculosis on January 14, 1882.  He was a well-known photographer who captured the brutality of the Civil War and the untamed beauty of the Western United States.

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1968 6¢ Cherokee Strip stamp
September 16, 1893

Largest Land Run in Oklahoma 

On September 16, 1893, some 100,000 people raced to claim 6 million acres of land in former Indian Territory in Oklahoma.  It was the largest land run into Oklahoma and resulted in the establishment of 40,000 homesteads. 

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1984 Roanoke Voyages stamp
July 13, 1584

First of the Roanoke Voyages 

On July 13, 1584, the first of three Roanoke voyages arrived in present-day North Carolina. These were attempts to establish the first permanent English settlement in North America. While the settlement saw the first English child born in America, all of the settlers disappeared and their fate is still unknown today.

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1992 Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stamp
June 27, 1542

Juan Cabrillo Embarks on Journey 

On June 27, 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo departed New Spain (present-day Mexico) in search of a water route between the Atlantic and Pacific. He’s considered to be the first European to travel the California coast and many spots in that state are named in his honor.

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1974 First Kentucky Settlement stamp
June 16, 1774

First Kentucky Settlement

On June 16, 1774, James Harrod led 31 men in the founding of the first permanent settlement in Kentucky. Over time the settlement was named Fort Harrod, Harrodstown, and finally Harrodsburg, in his honor.

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1988 Lincoln Ellsworth stamp
May 12, 1880

Birth of Lincoln Ellsworth

Polar explorer Lincoln Ellsworth was born on May 12, 1880, in Chicago, Illinois. He was the first person to fly over both polar regions, which earned him two Congressional Gold Medals. He’s one of just four people to have received two of the prestigious medals.

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