Literature

1975 10¢ Paul Laurence Dunbar
June 27, 1872

Birth of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar was born on June 27, 1872, in Dayton, Ohio.  He was one of the most prolific African American writers his time, despite having his life cut short by illness.

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1988 22¢ Black Heritage: James Weldon Johnson
June 17, 1871

Birth of James W. Johnson

James Weldon Johnson was born on June 17, 1871, in Jacksonville, Florida.  A poet, songwriter, diplomat, and activist, he was the first African American executive secretary of the NAACP.

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1958 4¢ Noah Webster
May 28, 1843

Death of Noah Webster 

On May 28, 1843, author and lexicographer Noah Webster died in New Haven, Connecticut.  Webster developed several important textbooks as well as the dictionary that standardized the American spelling of many words.  

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1997 32¢ Classic Movie Monsters: Bela Lugosi as Dracula
May 26, 1897

First Publication of Dracula

On May 26, 1897, Bram Stoker’s Dracula was first published in London, England. It went on to become one of the most famous pieces of English literature and has been adapted for film more than 30 times.

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1940 Famous Americans: 3¢ Ralph Waldo Emerson
May 25, 1803

Happy Birthday Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Author Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts.  A leader of the Transcendentalist movement, he promoted individualism and was a major influence on generations of thinkers, writers, and poets.

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1983 20¢ Literary Arts: Nathaniel Hawthorne
May 19, 1864

Death of Nathaniel Hawthorne

American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, while on a trip with former president Franklin Pierce to the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

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2006 39¢ Literary Art: Katherine Anne Porter
May 15, 1890

Birth of Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Anne Porter was born Callie Russell Porter on May 15, 1890, in Indian Creek, Texas. Porter was best known for her long short stories written in flawless prose, which have a texture and complexity usually found only in novels.

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1955 3¢ Old Man of the Mountain
May 3, 2003

The Old Man of the Mountain

On May 3, 2003, the Old Man of the Mountain rock formation in New Hampshire collapsed.  It had been the official state emblem for decades, and continues to appear on license plates and other items.

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1982 20¢ Library of Congress
April 24, 1800

Library of Congress Founded

On April 24, 1800, President John Adams officially established the Library of Congress.  It’s America’s oldest federal cultural institution, and one of the largest libraries in the world, with more than 171 million items.

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