World War I
America Issues First Airmail Stamp
On May 13, 1918, the United States issued its first airmail stamp – US #C3. It carried America’s first airmail two days later, and sparked one of the world’s most famous stamp rarities.
“In Flanders Fields”
On May 3, 1915, Canadian physician John McCrae penned the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” in honor of a fallen fellow soldier following the Second Battle of Ypres. The poem became a rallying cry among Allied nations to continue fighting and support the war effort.
Birth of Olympian Eddie Eagan
Edward Patrick Francis Eagan was born on April 26, 1897, in Denver, Colorado. He’s the only person in Olympic history to win gold medals in both Summer and Winter sports.
Wilson Asks Congress to Declare War
President Woodrow Wilson addressed Congress on April 2, 1917, asking to declare war and join World War I. Despite Wilson’s desire to remain neutral, Germany had attacked several ships carrying US citizens, with no promise of stopping.
First National Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.
On March 31, 1918, daylight saving time went into effect for the first time in the United States. It was originally instituted as a wartime measure, but was later adopted permanently.
Birth of William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was born on March 19, 1860, in Salem, Illinois. Known as “The Great Commoner,” Jennings ran for president three times, but is remembered for his impassioned speeches on a variety of topics, including anti-trust, anti-imperialism, prohibition, populism, and trust-busting.
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.
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.
Birth of John A. Lejeune
Marine Corps Commandant John Archer Lejeune was born on January 10, 1867, in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Serving his country for nearly 40 years, he’s been called the “Greatest of all Leathernecks” and the “Marine’s Marine.”