1995 32¢ World War II: Okinawa, the Last Big Battle
April 1, 1945

Battle of Okinawa 

On April 1, 1945, the Battle of Okinawa began. Lasting nearly three months, it was the last major battle of the war and the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific.

Read Article
2005 37¢ Distinguished Marines: John A. Lejeune
January 10, 1867

Birth of John A. Lejeune

Marine Corps Commandant John Archer Lejeune was born on January 10, 1867, in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Serving his country for nearly 40 years, he’s been called the “Greatest of all Leathernecks” and the “Marine’s Marine.”

Read Article
2001 34¢ Honoring Veterans
November 11, 1954

Veterans Day

On November 11, 1954, America first observed Veterans Day, previously known as Armistice Day.  Initially a day set aside to honor the veterans of World War I, it was expanded in 1954 to pay tribute to all veterans.   

Read Article
1966 5¢ Marine Corps Reserve
August 29, 1916

Founding of the Marine Corps Reserves

On August 29, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Naval Appropriations Act of 1916, establishing the Marine Corps Reserve.

Read Article
2003 37¢ Purple Heart, 11.25 x 10.75 perf
August 7, 1782

George Washington Creates Forerunner of Purple Heart

On August 7, 1782, George Washington ordered the creation of the Badge of Military Merit to be awarded for bravery in battle. The predecessor of the Purple Heart, it’s one of the oldest military awards worldwide that is open to all who are wounded in battle.

Read Article
1998 32¢ Battleship “Maine”
April 21, 1898

Spanish-American War Begins

On April 21, 1898, Spain ended diplomatic relations with America and the US Navy established a blockade of Cuba, marking the official start of the Spanish-American War. The war would last less than four months, but saw the downfall of the Spanish Empire and the rise of America as a major world power with several new possessions.

Read Article
1949 3¢ Grand Army of the Republic
April 6, 1866

Grand Army of the Republic

On April 6, 1866, in Springfield, Illinois, Dr. Benjamin F. Stephenson founded the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) to bring together Civil War veterans.  The GAR provided veterans with support and camaraderie and was influential in the creation of Memorial Day and more…

Read Article
1945 3¢ US Armed Forces: Iwo Jima
February 19, 1945

U.S. Marines Land on Iwo Jima

On February 19, 1945, the Battle of Iwo Jima began.  It was one of the bloodiest of the whole war, with over 44,000 combined casualties.

Read Article
1942 3¢ Win the War
January 31, 1944

Battle of Kwajalein

The Battle of Kwajalein began on January 31, 1944. Part of the World War II Pacific Campaign, it was a hard-fought, but quick victory for the US, allowing commanders to launch the next battles sooner than expected.

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!