Category: Historical figure

300 years of printing in U.S.


“Commemorating the 300th anniversary of printing in America, this stamp features Stephen Day’s printing press, the first press used in the American Colonies. Stephen Daye was a printer in England who emigrated to the Massachusetts Colony in 1639 and set up a printing press at Harvard College. There is some debate amongst scholars as to the first printed document in America, but most agree that it was either The Freeman’s Oath, a broadsheet (similar to a newspaper page) or William Pierce’s Almanac. Both were printed by Daye’s press, so either way his press was the first in America. A year later, the first actual book was published in America, the Bay Psalm Book by Daye on the same press.”

Excerpt from .


Here is a commemorative cover mailed to Vallejo, California.

Amelia Earhart


Image: sheet music from .

Amelia Earhart’s last flight was started on May 21, 1937 in Oakland, California, and ended January 5th 1939 when her body could not be found and she was declared dead. Her ambition was to fly across the world and in one of her last legs of the flight to Howland she never made it and was said to have crashed never to be found.

Excerpt from .

The song “Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight” was published in 1939. Some sources say that it was performed that year on television at the New York World’s Fair making it the first song broadcast on the medium.

Theories abound about her fate, some of which can be read at the image link above.

Abraham Lincoln


1939 saw the release of the Young Mr. Lincoln film, the thirtieth year of the Lincoln penny, and the publication of Abraham Lincoln, The War Years a four-volume set.

Film: “Young Mr. Lincoln is a 1939 partly fictionalized biopic about the early life of President Abraham Lincoln, directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda… Screenwriter Lamar Trotti was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing/Original Story.”

Coin: “The Lincoln cent is issued [in 1909], featuring Abraham Lincoln in profile, to honor the 100th anniversary of his birth. It is the first circulating coin to show a real person, and a President of the United States.” The “S” on the penny shown indicates that it was minted in San Francisco (not quite southern California but the coins would have been commonly seen here).

Book: From a 2012 review that compares it to a 1939 review: “I have mentioned previously that Sandburg’s biography of Abraham Lincoln is still a classic and should be read by all who have any interest in Lincoln-whether scholar or casual reader. That was true in 1939 and still so today.”