On February 19, 1936, Billy Mitchell died in New York City. He’s often considered the father of the United States Air Force, having dedicated much of his career promoting air power in warfare.
On February 15, 1926, the first contract airmail flight was made between Michigan and Ohio. Three stamps were issued for this service during its first two years.
On February 9, 1870, Ulysses S. Grant created the US Weather Bureau. Still in operation today as the National Weather Service, it provides weather forecasts and warnings for hazardous weather.
Acclaimed author Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on February 7, 1867, in Pepin County, Wisconsin. She retold stories from her childhood in the wildly popular Little House on the Prairie series, which went on to become a popular TV series as well.
American labor union leader Samuel Gompers was born on January 27, 1850, in London, England. He helped found the American Federation of Labor (AFL), one of the largest unions of the day.
Army general and statesman George C. Marshall was born on December 31, 1880. His leadership was instrumental in several conflicts and his plan helped Europe recover from World War II.
Author Edith Newbold Jones Wharton was born on January 24, 1862, in New York City, New York.
On January 19, 1840, US Naval captain Charles Wilkes became the first American to explore the coast of Antarctica. His two year expedition circumnavigated the globe and is credited with playing a significant role in the development of 19th-century science.
William Thomas Piper was born on January 8, 1881, in Knapp Creek, New York. He developed the popular and inexpensive Piper Cub and became known as the “Henry Ford of Aviation.”