2001 34¢ Leonard Bernstein
August 25, 1918

Happy Birthday, Leonard Bernstein

Leonard (Louis) Bernstein was born on August 25, 1918, in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  One of the most famous conductors of his time, he was the first American conductor to earn international praise.

Read Article
1981 18¢ Flag Over Field
July 22, 1893

America the Beautiful 

On July 22, 1893, Katharine Lee Bates wrote America the Beautiful. It has since become one of America’s most beloved patriotic songs, and has often been proposed to become our national anthem.

Read Article
2018 50¢ Black Heritage: Lena Horne
June 30, 1917

Birth of Lena Horne

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born on June 30, 1917, in New York City, New York.  Horne was one of the great icons of the 20th century.  She spent over 70 years in the entertainment industry as an actress and jazz singer and was also an acclaimed civil rights activist. 

Read Article
1997 32¢ Conductors and Composers: George Szell, Conductor
June 7, 1897

Birth of George Szell

Conductor George Szell was born György Endre Szél on June 7, 1897, in Budapest, Hungary.  Szell conducted the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and is credited with transforming it into one of the world’s greatest orchestras.

Read Article
1994 29¢ Blues and Jazz Singers: Muddy Waters
April 30, 1983

Death of Muddy Waters

On April 30, 1983, legendary blues musician Muddy Waters died in Westmont, Illinois. Dubbed the “Father of Modern Chicago Blues,” Waters had dozens of hits over the years and has been a major influence for generations of musicians.

Read Article
2015 49¢ Maya Angelou
April 4, 1928

Birth of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri.  Poet, actor, author, teacher, and activist, Angelou became an influential voice of the 20th century.  

Read Article
1940 Famous Americans: 3¢ Victor Herbert
February 1, 1859

Birth of Victor Herbert

Victor August Herbert was born on February 1, 1859, in Guernsey, United Kingdom. He was one of the most prolific composers of his day, as well as a celebrated cellist, conductor, and champion for the legal rights of composers.

Read Article
2014 49¢ Janis Joplin
January 19, 1943

Birth of Singer Janis Joplin

Janis Lyn Joplin was born on January 19, 1943, in Port Arthur, Texas. The “Queen of Psychedelic Soul,” Joplin infused her blues-inspired songs with a raw emotion and distinctive voice that made her one of the era’s leading female rockers.

Read Article
1960 4¢ Champions of Liberty: Ignacy Paderewski
January 18, 1919

Ignacy Paderewski Becomes Prime Minister of Poland 

On January 18, 1919, composer-turned statesman Ignacy Paderewski was sworn in as the first prime minister of newly independent Poland.

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!