Flight

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
1996 50¢ Jacqueline Cochran
May 11, 1906

Birth of Jacqueline Cochran

Jacqueline Cochran was born Bessie Lee Pittman on May 11, 1906, in Pensacola, Florida.  The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, she held more speed, altitude, and distance records than any other pilot, male or female, in the world.

Read Article
1961 4¢ Naval Aviation
May 8, 1911

Birth of Naval Aviation

On May 8, 1911, the US Navy purchased its first airplane. This date is celebrated as the birth of US naval aviation.

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
1991 29¢ Space Exploration: Pluto stamp
January 19, 2006

Launch of New Horizons Probe

On January 19, 2006, the New Horizons interplanetary space probe was launched on a mission that included studying Pluto. The mission was inspired in part a postage stamp!

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
1999 55¢ General William “Billy” Mitchell stamp
December 17, 1925

The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell

On December 17, 1925, the seven-week court-martial of World War I aviation pioneer Billy Mitchell came to an end.  He was charged for his public criticism of the military in its rejection of the importance of air power.

Read Article
1996 32¢ Big Band Leaders: Glenn Miller stamp
December 15, 1944

Disappearance of Glenn Miller

On December 15, 1944, big band leader and composer Glenn Miller was aboard a plane that disappeared over the English Channel. Miller had put his successful civilian music career on hold to serve in the US Army during World War II.

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!