1988 25¢ Antarctic Explorers: Richard E. Byrd
October 25, 1888

Birth of Richard Byrd

Richard Evelyn Byrd was born on October 25, 1888, in Winchester, Virginia. Byrd led three Antarctic expeditions and was the US Navy’s youngest admiral at the time.

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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.

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2014 49¢ Civil War Sesquicentennial, 1864: The Battle of Mobile Bay
August 5, 1864

Battle of Mobile Bay Begins

On August 5, 1864, Admiral David Farragut led a successful naval attack that led to a Union victory at Mobile Bay, Alabama. Though the important city of Mobile remained part of the Confederacy, Mobile Bay was in Union hands and closed to blockade-runners.

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1971 16¢ Ernest Taylor Pyle
August 3, 1900

Birth of Ernie Pyle

Journalist and war correspondent Ernest Taylor Pyle was born on August 3, 1900, in Dana, Indiana.  America’s most widely read war correspondent, he earned a Pulitzer Prize for Journalism and was one of a few civilians to be awarded the Purple Heart.

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2014 $19.99 USS Arizona Memorial, Express Mail
May 30, 1962

Opening of the USS Arizona Memorial

On May 30, 1962, the USS Arizona Memorial was officially opened to the public. A tribute to those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor, it’s visited by two million people per year and is a National Historic Landmark.

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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.

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1937 2¢ Decatur & MacDonough
February 16, 1804

The Burning of the USS Philadelphia

On February 16, 1804, Stephen Decatur led a surprise assault on the captured USS Philadelphia in Tripoli. Part of the First Barbary War, the assault was intended to keep the Tripolitans from salvaging the damaged ship for their own use.

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1937 4¢ Army and Navy: Sampson, Dewey and Schley
February 9, 1840

Birth of Admiral William T. Sampson

US Navy Rear Admiral William T. Sampson was born on February 9, 1840, in Palmyra, New York.  He’s best known for his victory in the Spanish-American War Battle of Santiago de Cuba.

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1948 3¢ Four Chaplains
February 3, 1943

Sinking of the SS Dorchester

On February 3, 1943, after the SS Dorchester was sunk, the Four Chaplains sacrificed their lives to protect the other men on their boat.  The sinking is considered the second-worst sea disaster of World War II.

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