War of 1812

1894 $2 Madison, unwatermarked
March 16, 1751

Happy Birthday, James Madison

James Madison was born on March 16, 1751, in Port Conway, Virginia. One of America’s Founding Fathers and the fourth US president, Madison is considered the “Father of the US Constitution” and led America through the War of 1812.

Read Article
1946 3¢ US Armed Forces: Merchant Marine
March 15, 1938

Merchant Marines

On March 15, 1938, the Merchant Marine Cadet Corps was established.  Merchant Marines transport cargo and passengers in peacetime and are called upon in times of war to deliver troops and supplies wherever needed.

Read Article
1875 5¢ Zachary Taylor, blue
November 24, 1784

Zachary Taylor Born

Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States, was born near Barboursville, Virginia on November 24, 1784.  A hero of the Mexican-American War, he only served 16 months of his time in office.

Read Article
2013 46¢ Boston Harbor, Massachusetts
September 14, 1716

First Lighthouse in America – Boston Light

On September 14, 1716, the first lighthouse in what would become America was lit for the first time in Boston Harbor.  In honor of its long history, it’s the only lighthouse in America to still have a light keeper today.

Read Article
2014 49¢ War of 1812: Fort McHenry
September 13, 1814

Battle of Fort McHenry

On September 13, 1814, the American garrison at Fort McHenry was subjected to a massive naval assault that ultimately inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It was a resounding American victory and a major turning point in the War of 1812.

Read Article
1937 2¢ Decatur & MacDonough
September 11, 1814

The Battle of Plattsburgh

On September 11, 1814, American forces won an important victory at the Battle of Plattsburgh (also known as the Battle of Lake Champlain).

Read Article
2004 37¢ USS Constellation
September 7, 1797

First USS Constellation Launched 

Ordered by a Congressional Act in 1794, the first American ship to be christened the Constellation was launched on September 7, 1797.  It was the first ship commissioned into the United States Navy; the first put to sea; and the first to fight, defeat, and capture an enemy vessel.

Read Article
1933 1¢ Restoration of Fort Dearborn
August 15, 1812

Battle of Fort Dearborn 

In a battle lasting only 15 minutes on August 15, 1812, the Potawatomi Native Americans attacked Fort Dearborn near present-day Chicago, Illinois, and burned it to the ground.

Read Article
1987 25¢ Bicentenary Statehood: New York
July 26, 1788

New York Becomes 11th State to Join the Union

On July 26, 1788, New York ratified the US Constitution, becoming America’s 11th state. It has grown to be America’s fourth most populous state, with more than 20 million residents.

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!