American History

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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2016 47¢ National Parks Centennial Carlsbad Caverns Stamp
May 14, 1930

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

On May 14, 1930, Carlsbad Caverns National Park was officially created in New Mexico. The park is home to the largest limestone chamber in North America, known as the Big Room.

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1993 29¢ Legends of American Music: Ritchie Valens
May 13, 1941

Birth of Ritchie Valens

Richard Steven Valenzuela, known as Richie Valens, was born on May 13, 1941, in Pacoima, Los Angeles, California. Valens was a pioneer of Chicano rock and Latin rock, often considered the first Latino performer to successfully crossover to mainstream rock ‘n’ roll.

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1996 50¢ Jacqueline Cochran
May 11, 1906

Birth of Jacqueline Cochran

Jacqueline Cochran was born Bessie Lee Pittman on May 11, 1906, in Pensacola, Florida.  The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, she held more speed, altitude, and distance records than any other pilot, male or female, in the world.

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1944 3¢ Completion of First Transcontinental Railroad
May 10, 1869

Transcontinental Railroad Completed

On May 10, 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad was completed with the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah. Completing the Transcontinental Railroad is widely considered one of the greatest accomplishments of the 19th century!

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1917 Washington violet, perf 10, Type I
May 9, 1918

The Military Postal Express Service

On May 9, 1918, the US War Department created the Military Postal Express Service (MPES) to handle military mail in Europe during World War I.  It was the first postal system in the world to be created by an Army.

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1961 4¢ Naval Aviation
May 8, 1911

Birth of Naval Aviation

On May 8, 1911, the US Navy purchased its first airplane. This date is celebrated as the birth of US naval aviation.

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1959 1¢ Abraham Lincoln
May 7, 1833,

Postmaster Lincoln

On May 7, 1833, future President Abraham Lincoln took a job as postmaster for New Salem, Illinois.  Holding that position for three years, he was well-liked and respected for his commitment to his postal customers.

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1973 21¢ Amadeo P. Giannini
May 6, 1870

Happy Birthday to Amadeo Giannini

Banker Amadeo Pietro Giannini was born on May 6, 1870, in San Jose, California.  Giannini found his success in offering loans to immigrants who were denied elsewhere.  He also helped fund projects such as the Golden Gate Bridge and World War II ships.

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