Famous Americans

2000 33¢ Literary Arts: Thomas Wolfe
October 3, 1900

Birth of Thomas Wolfe

Novelist Thomas Clayton Wolfe was born on October 3, 1900, in Asheville, North Carolina. He’s considered North Carolina’s most famous writer and was a major influence on several writers of the next generation.

Read Article
1935 3¢ Dedication of Boulder Dam
September 30, 1935

Dedication of the Hoover Dam 

On September 30, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt presided over the dedication ceremony of the Boulder Dam. Later renamed the Hoover Dam, it’s one of the highest concrete dams in the world.

Read Article
1984 20¢ Herman Melville
September 28, 1891

Death of Herman Melville

On September 28, 1891, author Herman Melville died in his New York City home. While it was a moderate success during his lifetime, Melvile’s novel Moby-Dick is now considered a masterpiece of American literature.

Read Article
1967 13¢ Prominent Americans: John F. Kennedy
September 26, 1960

America’s First Televised Presidential Debate

On September 26, 1960, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon took part in America’s first televised debate, which revealed just how important this growing medium would be on future politics.

Read Article
1909 2¢ Hudson-Fulton Celebration: Half Moon and Clermont
September 25, 1909

The Hudson-Fulton Celebration 

On September 25, 1909, the Hudson-Fulton Celebration opened in New York and New Jersey. The celebration marked the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the Hudson River as well as the 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s first successful commercial paddle steamship.

Read Article
1894 $5 Marshall, unwatermarked
September 24, 1755

Happy Birthday, John Marshall

America’s longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Marshall, was born on September 24, 1755, in Germantown, Virginia. 

Read Article
2000 33¢ Louise Nevelson
September 23, 1899

Birth of Louise Nevelson

Sculptor Louise Nevelson was born Leah Berliawsky on September 23, 1899, in Pereiaslav, Poltava Governorate, Russian Empire. She was a prolific artist who specialized in using found materials and public art commissions.

Read Article
1981 18¢ Babe Zaharias
September 22, 1981

American Sports Series

On September 22, 1981, the USPS inaugurated its Sports Series (sometimes called the American Sports Personalities Series), honoring some of America’s most notable athletes. 

Read Article
1991 29¢ Jan E. Matzeliger
September 15, 1852

Birth of Jan Matzeliger

Inventor Jan Matzeliger was born on September 15, 1852, in Paramaribo, Dutch Guyana (present-day Surinam).  He invented a device that is considered “the most important invention for New England” and the “greatest step forward in the shoe industry.” 

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!