1. 1918: The first airmail stamp issued in the United States
On this day back in 1918, the first airmail stamp was issued in the United States. Prior to this only parcel and postage stamps were used. This would also go on to become one of the most popular stamps of all time because it featured the Curtis Jenny Biplane on the front. Interestingly, 1 out of every 100 printed had the biplane upside down and would later be referred to as the “inverted Jenny”. IF you managed to come across one of these that was in mint condition, you may as well have hit the lottery because they have fetched almost $1 million at actions all over the world.
2. 1985: Cult raid gone bad in Philadelphia
Cult stories seem to be a dime a dozen, but the raid on the group that called themselves MOVE took place on this day in 1985. The group was known for having a major arsenal and had experienced multiple run-ins with the Philadelphia Police department. Back in 1978, there was a shootout that ended in the death of Officer James Ramp. MOVE had set up a bunker in a home off Osage Avenue and had barricaded themselves in, but the mayor made it very clear that he wanted a full raid on the MOVE headquarters. As police attempted to go in, the members just dug in deeper and it was very clear that police were going to need to step it up a notch. So in a wild move they decided to drop a small bomb on the top if the house with intentions of tearing down the bunkers, but things went terribly wrong. The bomb ended up causing a major fire because there was all sorts of gas and tar stored up on the roof. Not being prepared for a fire, it was almost an hour before firefighters even attempted to start putting out the fire. Once all was done, 11 people had died and more than 61 homes had been burned to the ground. Police were heavily criticized for how the situation was handled, and just a couple years later a jury awarded the three surviving members of MOVE with a $1.5 million settlement.
3. 1973: Bobby Riggs and Margaret Court in the first “battle of the sexes”
On this day in in 1973 in the town of Ramona, California, the “Battle of the Sexes” takes place when Bobby Riggs plays Margaret Court in a tennis match. Riggs was once the top men’s player in the world back in the 30’s and 40’s, but at the time of the match was 55 years old. He was a known chauvinist constantly belittling woman’s tennis claiming that even at 55 he still could beat the top female player in the world. He originally challenged Billie Jean King, who denied him, after which Margaret Court stepped up to accept Riggs’s challenge. Court at the time was the highest paid female player in the world and had won 89 of her last 92 matches. The match took place on Riggs’s home court and it was later determined that he had the court resurfaced to slow the ball to fit his style of play more. Riggs would go on to win two straight sets and claiming the match victory. Just a few months later, Billie Jean King would battle the loud Mouth Riggs and would go on to beat him on three straight sets in front of a sold out Houston Astrodome crowd.