Transportation

1978 31¢ Wright Brothers and Plane stamp
September 23, 1978

Pioneers of Aviation Series

On September 23, 1978, the USPS issued the first stamps in its Pioneers of Aviation Series. The series would span more than 20 years and include 18 stamps honoring some of America’s most legendary aviators and their aircraft.

Read Article
1901 2¢ Pan-American Exposition: Empire State Express stamp
September 14, 1891

The Empire State Express

On September 14, 1891, the Empire State Express became one of the world’s first high-speed passenger train, traveling 436 miles between New York City and Buffalo in 7 hours, 6 minutes. It averaged 61.4 miles per hour and reached a top speed of 82 miles per hour.

Read Article
1988 21¢ Transportation Series: Railroad MailCar, 1920s stamp
August 28, 1864

Start of Railway Mail Service 

On August 28, 1864, the US Post Office Department created the Railway Mail Service.  It revolutionized mail delivery for a century.

Read Article
1968 6¢ Historic American Flags: First Stars and Stripes stamp
August 23, 1784

The Flower Flag

On August 23, 1784, an American merchant ship unfurled the Stars and Stripes for the first time in China. The Chinese dubbed it the “Flower Flag,” and its passengers, “flower flag countrymen,” a name that endures today.

Read Article
1998 32¢ Celebrate the Century - 1910s: Panama Canal Opens stamp
August 15, 1914

Opening of the Panama Canal

After a decade of construction, the Panama Canal opened to traffic on August 15, 1914. Dubbed one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the canal helped to significantly cut down on the travel time between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Read Article
1995 Winton automobile stamp
July 28, 1897

Winton Auto Test-Drive

On July 28, 1897, Alexander Winton began a nine-day test-drive of his automobile, proving its reliability to investors.  Winton went on to become the top-selling automobile manufacturer for several years.  He had more than 100 patents, and often allowed others to use them for free when safety was involved.

Read Article
1955 Soo Locks Centennial stamp
June 18, 1855

The Soo Locks

On June 18, 1855, the first ship passed through the Soo Locks, located on the St. Mary’s River between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Today there are four locks, and an average of 10,000 ships pass through them each year.

Read Article
1998 Golden Gate Bridge stamp
May 28, 1937

Opening of the Golden Gate Bridge

On May 28, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge officially opened to traffic.  It was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its opening and was dubbed a “Wonder of the World” structure.

Read Article
2012 Sunshine Skyway Bridge stamp
April 20, 1987

Reopening of Sunshine Skyway Bridge

On April 20, 1987, the second Sunshine Skyway Bridge opened. It was rebuilt following a 1980 accident. Considered a symbol of Florida, it’s also the longest cable-stayed concrete bridge in the world.

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!