Thursday, August 18, 2005

On this day in 1587, Virginia Dare became the first white child of English parents to be born in America. She was the daughter of Ananias and Elenor Dare, members of Sir Walter Raleigh's ill-fated colony that settled Roanoke Island on the North Carolina coast.

The Virginia Dare stamp shown above was issued on August 18, 1937, at Manteo, N.C., near the site of the original colony the stamp. President Franklin D. Roosevelt suggested that the stamp be square— first for a U.S. issue — and that the color be baby blue. He also gave it a five-cent face value, which made it useful for air mail overseas.

Since no trace remained of the colony when the relief expedition reached Roanoke in 1591, the child's fate is not known.

To see more philatelic firsts, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM