The US Stamp of the Day
July 23, 2014
Chester W. Nimitz - Issued 2/22/1985
In 1941, Chester Nimitz became commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet. His strategy of "island hopping" – bypassing smaller Japanese bases to concentrate on more crucial ones – not only saved lives but shortened the war considerably.
The Great Americans Series The popular Great Americans Series honors special Americans from all walks of life and honors them for their contributions to society and their fellow man. Sixty-four different stamps make up the complete set to pay tribute to important individuals who were leaders in education, the military, literature, the arts, and human and civil rights. (Source)
July 22, 2014
Frank Sinatra - Issued on 5/13/2008
Frank Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915, in New Jersey, the only child of Italian immigrants Anthony and Natalie Sinatra. He had his first brush with fame when hired by the newly formed Harry James band in 1939. Less than a year later, the charismatic crooner was recruited by Tommy Dorsey.
Sinatra recorded his first number-one hit song, “I’ll Never Smile Again,” after just six months with Dorsey. Dubbed “Ol’ Blue Eyes” by his fans, Sinatra’s velvety voice made 1940s bobby-soxers swoon. An appearance in New York City caused hysteria that made headlines. Soon, Sinatra had contracts with Columbia Records, R.K.O. Films, and the Hit Parade radio program. He became one of only a few performers with record sales of over 500 million.
During his show business career of more than half a century, Sinatra appeared in 58 films, including both musicals and serious dramas. In 1953, he won an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role in “From Here to Eternity.” Sinatra was leader of the “Rat Pack,” a group of Hollywood stars who were close friends and often performed together in Las Vegas, including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.
In 2008, Frank Sinatra was honored with a 42¢ first-class postage stamp. (Source)
July 21, 2014
McGruff The Crime Dog - Issued on 9/26/1984
McGruff the Crime Dog is an anthropomorphic cartoon bloodhound created by Saatchi & Saatchi through the Ad Council for the National Crime Prevention Council for use by American police in building crime awareness among children. He debuted from Dancer Fitzgerald Sample in July 1980. The character himself was created by copywriter Sherry Nemmers and art director Ray Krivascy. Nemmers and Krivascy reported to creative director Jack Keil, who wrote the motto "Take a Bite out of Crime". Keil, a native of Rochester, New York, also did McGruff's voice for many years. After two years on the air, a nationwide contest was opened to name the character. The most common entry was "Sherlock Bones." Other entries included "J. Edgar Dog," "Sarg-dog," and "Keystone cop Dog." The winner, McGruff the Crime Dog, was submitted by a New Orleans police officer. In some of McGruff's advertisements, he appears with his nephew "Scruff".
McGruff reaches kids through commercials, songs, educational videos and booklet from the National Crime Prevention Council, talking about drugs, bullying, safety and the importance of staying in school. Recently, McGruff has appeared in commercials addressing identity theft. The character is often used with his motto "Take a bite out of crime!" He also reaches kids through personal appearances as both puppets (often used in classrooms) and costumes worn by police officers nationwide. In a 1990 commercial, Ralph Edwards appeared to honor McGruff's 10th anniversary with a This Is Your Life themed ad.
In 2005, a new identity theft warning campaign was launched in honor of his 25th birthday.
July 20, 2014
American Journalists - Issued 4/22/2008
With this stamp sheet, the U.S. Postal Service honors five distinguished journalists who reported — often at great personal sacrifice — some of the most important stories of the 20th century. Working in radio, television, or print, the distinguished members of this group did their part to keep citizens informed about the world around them. They were drawn to hot spots, and their description of conflicts and issues helped people respond more intelligently to events.
The American Journalists stamp series honors the following journalists:
- Ruben Salazar, the first Mexican-American journalist to have a major voice in mainstream media.
- Martha Gellhorn, a ground-breaking war correspondent who covered the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the Vietnam War.
- John Hersey, whose most famous work documented the story of Hiroshima; the book was named the top work of journalism of the 20th century by New York University.
- George Polk, a CBS radio correspondent who filed hard-hitting reports on the civil strife in Greece in the aftermath of World War II.
- Eric Sevareid, writer and broadcast journalist.
Ruben Salazar was the first Mexican-American journalist to have a major voice in mainstream news media in the United States. He wrote many influential articles for the Los Angeles Times in the 1960s; his work presents a valuable view of the evolution of Mexican-American politics into the larger Chicano movement.
As a young reporter for his hometown newspaper, the El Paso Herald-Post, Salazar distinguished himself with a series of investigative articles exploring the lives of poor Mexican-Americans.
Salazar’s professional ambition soon took him to California, where he eventually joined the staff of the Los Angeles Times. There, he wrote articles on many aspects of Mexican-American life, including a series of influential reports on a variety of issues such as politics, labor (he interviewed the young activist Cesar Chavez), and education.
In 1965, Salazar became a foreign correspondent, traveling to the Dominican Republic and South Vietnam before becoming chief of his paper’s Mexico City bureau. When he returned to Los Angeles, he described the discrimination faced by members of the Mexican-American community, killed in disproportionate numbers in Vietnam and frequently abused by police and other institutional forces at home.
In 1970, Salazar became news director of KMEX, a Spanish-language television station, and scaled back his writing for the Times to a weekly column that attracted wide notice.
On August 29, 1970, while covering the National Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War, Salazar was shot and killed by a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Salazar has been awarded many posthumous honors, including a special Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award “for his columns which communicated effectively and compassionately the culture and alienation of Chicanos.” Laguna Park, the site of the Chicano Moratorium rally, was renamed Salazar Park.
Martha Gellhorn was one of the most acclaimed war reporters of her era. In a long career that broke new ground for women in journalism, she covered many major conflicts of the 20th century, including the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the Vietnam War. Well past the age when most people retire, she filed reports from Central America in the 1980s.
Early in her career, Gellhorn worked as a crime reporter in Albany, NY. During the Depression, she interviewed textile workers in New England and the South for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). She spent time at the White House as a guest of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who became a lifelong friend.
In Europe, Gellhorn covered the Spanish Civil War for Collier’s. During World War II, she reported on the Allied landing on D-Day and, later, the liberation of Dachau concentration camp. Later, she covered the war crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann for Atlantic Monthly. For many years, Gellhorn made her home in London; a British paper, the Guardian, published pieces she wrote on Vietnam in 1966 and on Israel in 1967.
A collection of Gellhorn’s war reportage, entitled The Face of War, was first published in 1959. A later book, Travels with Myself and Another (1978), is a popular and funny memoir.
John Hersey was a versatile writer whose most famous work, Hiroshima, is a nonfiction account of what happened when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city that gave the book its title.
Hersey was born on June 17, 1914, in Tientsin, China, where his parents were Christian missionaries, and where he spent much of his childhood. After his family returned to the U.S., Hersey went to college at Yale, where he played varsity football and was music critic for the Yale Daily News. Graduate study at Cambridge and a short stint as secretary to writer Sinclair Lewis preceded Hersey’s employment as a reporter for Time. Journalistic work during World War II took Hersey to both Europe and Asia; his articles appeared in Time, Life, and The New Yorker.
Hersey also wrote several books during the war. One of these, the novel A Bell for Adano (1944), was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1945; it tells of Sicilian villagers searching for a replacement for their antique bell, which Fascists had melted down for bullets.
In May 1946, Hersey began work on an article describing the effects of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima the preceding August. It filled an entire issue of The New Yorker dated August 31, 1946, which sold out quickly and elicited wide comment.
In Hiroshima, Hersey followed closely six hibakusha (“explosion-affected persons”) before, during, and after the blast. In deliberately plain language, Hersey gave readers a vivid sense of what it was like to live through a nuclear explosion.
Hersey returned to Hiroshima in 1985 and wrote a follow-up article, “The Aftermath,” which was published in The New Yorker and subsequently added to a revised edition of the book. In February 1999, Hiroshima was voted the top work of journalism of the 20th century by members of the journalism faculty at New York University along with 17 distinguished guest judges.
A sampling of Hersey’s many books suggests the wide range of his subject matter. The Wall (1950) is a novel centered on the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. The Algiers Motel Incident (1968), a nonfiction comment on American race relations, focused on the killing of three black men in Detroit. In Letter to the Alumni (1970), Hersey attempted to explain contemporary student attitudes to older readers. His love for music was reflected in his last novel, Antonietta (1991), about a Stradivarius violin.
Hersey taught writing for several years at Yale, his alma mater, where he also served for a time as master of Pierson College. In later life, Hersey divided his time between Key West, Florida, and Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts. He died on March 24, 1993, at his home in Key West.
George Polk was a talented young CBS radio correspondent who filed hard-hitting reports from Greece describing the civil strife that erupted there in the aftermath of World War II.
In 1938, he graduated from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, having majored in history and political science. During his time there, Polk became a reporter, writing a column on Alaska for his hometown paper, the Fort Worth Press.
Polk traveled through Asia before making his way to Europe and landing a job with the Paris bureau of the New York Herald Tribune. On February 23, 1942, soon after receiving news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, Polk enlisted with the United States Naval Reserve. He served at a naval air base in the South Pacific with a unit specializing in the repair and maintenance of aircraft.
In 1945, Polk began work as a freelance foreign correspondent. Back in Europe once more, he met CBS radio newsman Edward R. Murrow, who encouraged him to join the CBS staff. In 1946, Polk became the network’s Middle East correspondent, based in Cairo. Soon, he began providing impassioned coverage of the Greek civil war.
He was on the trail of a story about corruption involving U.S. aid to Greece when he disappeared in Salonika on the night of May 8, 1948, at the age of 34; his bound body was found floating in the bay a week later. The exact circumstances of his death remain a mystery, but Polk was shot before his body was put in the water.
Polk was eulogized on the air by Edward R. Murrow, who told his listeners, “Certain it is that you have lost one of the ablest, most conscientious and courageous reporters who has ever served you.” In 1949, Long Island University established the annual George Polk Awards, among journalism’s most prestigious honors. Its many acclaimed recipients have included Eric Sevareid, Susan Sontag, Marguerite Higgins, and Seymour Hersh.
Eric Sevareid, writer and broadcast journalist, is particularly remembered for his reporting on World War II and the Vietnam War, and for his commentary on American politics in the 1960s and 1970s. His rugged good looks and confident tones concealed the reticence he overcame to interview statesmen, Supreme Court justices, novelists, and other leading figures of the day.
Sevareid served his apprenticeship as a reporter while studying political science and journalism at the University of Minnesota, where he wrote for the campus daily and for two Minneapolis newspapers. He graduated in 1935.
In 1937, he went to Paris, where he joined the staff of the New York Herald Tribune and was noticed by Edward R. Murrow, the respected CBS newsman. When Murrow offered him a job, Sevareid was at first reluctant because he preferred to concentrate on writing. But he duly accepted the offer, becoming one of “Murrow’s boys” who provided unforgettable radio commentary on World War II. Sevareid reported on the approach of the Germans to Paris, the exodus from the city, and on life in London during wartime.
After the war, Sevareid was an early critic of the anticommunist witch-hunting tactics of Senator Joe McCarthy. He produced several books and magazine articles. Collections of his work include In One Ear (1952) and Small Sounds in the Night (1956).
In 1963, Sevareid joined Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News, which had recently expanded to a half-hour format, as a regular commentator, delivering carefully crafted 2-minute analyses three or four times a week. After retirement in 1977, he occasionally was host for special news programs and documentaries. As he grew older, he noted that he tended to favor conservatism regarding foreign policy and liberalism in domestic affairs. (Source)
July 19, 2014
The 13th Amendment - Issued 10/20/1940
U.S. #902 was issued to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 13th Amendment, which declared that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude” would be allowed in the United States.
The stamp pictures a statue of Abraham Lincoln, who issued his Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation did not immediately result in any slaves being freed, because the Confederacy was not under federal government control, but stated that all slaves in the Southern states would be free once the war was over.
The Great Emancipator “Colored people lost their best friend on earth.” This was the reaction of Charlotte Scott, a freed slave, upon hearing of President Lincoln’s assassination. She then declared that she wanted to honor the fallen President with a memorial. She donated the first five dollars she earned as a free woman. Over the next two years, other freed slaves donated a total of $18,000 to help fund the statue.
Sculpted by Thomas Ball, the statue was dedicated in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1876 – exactly eleven years after John Wilkes Booth shot the President. The day’s events included a 50,000-person parade and a stirring speech by Frederick Douglas, who said, “He was the white man’s president, with the white man’s prejudices… [Speaking to the whites in the audience] You are the children of Abraham Lincoln, we are at best his step children; children by adoption; children by force of circumstance and necessity...even if Lincoln was motivated by political expedience by signing the Emancipation Proclamation, he is our liberator.”
The statue features The Great Emancipator gripping his document as he stands over a newly freed slave with broken shackles, preparing to stand and embrace his freedom. The model for the freed slave is believed to be Archer Alexander, the last man captured under the Fugitive Slave Act. (Source)
July 18, 2014
Dolley Madison - Issued 5/20/1980
U.S. #1822 was issued on the anniversary of Mrs. Madison's birth. As the wife of President James Madison, Dolley had a close association with the nation's capital and knew 12 Presidents. When the White House was burned in 1814, she salvaged a Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington, valuable state papers, and other national treasures before escaping to Virginia. (Source)
July 17, 2014
Marianne Moore - Issued 4/18/1990
During her lifetime, poetess Marianne Moore was the recipient of the most distinguished literary awards the U.S. had to offer. She has been called the "first lady of poetry.” The stamp is the eighth in the Literary Arts series.
Marianne Moore (1887-1972)
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Moore is one of the greatest female poets in American history. Moore often used things in nature, such as birds and exotic animals, as the subjects in her poems as symbols of honesty and steadfastness. In 1952, Moore won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for “Collected Poems.” As the editor of The Dial magazine from 1925-29, Moore encouraged many young writers by publishing their work. (Source - Mystic Stamp)
July 16, 2014
2 Cent Pony Express - Earliest known usage 3/20/1869
At the time it was issued, the Pony Express Rider stamp was severely criticized for its design. The horse appears to be leaping rather than galloping. (Some say the horse’s position is nearly impossible.) However, it captures our nation’s infatuation with the romance of the Pony Express.
The 1869 Pictorial Series The appearance of the 1869 Pictorials marked a significant change in U.S. stamp design. For the first time in American postal history, something other than portraits of national leaders was being pictured on a stamp. These were the first U.S. stamps to be printed using two colors.
Printing with two colors required the stamps to be run through the press twice; once, to print the vignette (center design), and then again, to print the frame. Carelessness in merging the two impressions resulted in the rare inverts. Instead of an inverted center, the stamp actually has an inverted frame, since the center design was printed first. The 30¢ Shield and Eagle with inverted flags is the rarest of the 1869 inverts. The least obvious of the three, it was the last to be discovered.
The pictorials were to be produced over a four-year period by the National Bank Note Company. When issued, however, the stamps were unpopular with the public. Within a year after their release, they were withdrawn from sale.
Today, the pictorial issues are the most popular of the 1840 – 1870 Classic Stamps. Because the stamps were only in circulation for a year, they have become increasingly hard to find in both unused and used condition. (Source)
July 15, 2014
American Scientists - Issued on 3/6/2008
American scientists have kept our country at the forefront of technology in areas like medicine, space, and the military. In 2008, the United States Postal Service honored four American Scientists with 41¢ first-class postage stamps to recognize their important contributions to our nation. It is the second se-tenant issued in the American Scientists Series.
Featured on stamps are biochemist Gerty Cori, chemist Linus Pauling, astronomer Edwin Hubble, and physicist John Bardeen.
Gerti Cori was the first female to earn a Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine in 1947. Working with her husband, Cori discovered how carbohydrates are metabolized in the body. The Cori Crater on the Moon was named for her.
Linus Pauling is considered by most to be the father of molecular biology. He earned two Nobel Prizes, one for chemistry in 1954 and one for Peace in 1962. The Linus Pauling Institute was started and later named after Pauling.
Astronomer Edwin Hubble forever changed the way we see our world. Before Hubble, it was thought that our Milky Way galaxy was the entire universe. Hubble’s research showed there are galaxies beyond our own. In 1990, the Hubble telescope was named after the distinguished astronomer.
John Bardeen’s development of the transistor has made possible the creation of almost every other modern electronic device from telephones to missiles. He earned Nobel Prizes in 1956 and 1972 for his world-changing contributions. (Source)
July 14, 2014
Probing the Vastness of Space - Issued on 7/10/2000
The six international-rate stamps on this souvenir sheet recognize the important role observatories and telescopes play in the American space program. One of the instruments highlighted is the Hubble Space Telescope, recently honored with a set of five commemorative stamps. The Eagle nebula, which was featured on one of the Hubble commemorative stamps, is pictured in the selvage of this set of stamps.
July 13, 2014
Legends of Baseball - Issued 7/6/2000
The Legends of Baseball issue honors 20 baseball greats who were named to the "All-Century Team," announced after the 1999 season. Votes from fans, as well as members of a special panel, selected the team.
Players honored on the stamp include: Jackie Robinson, Eddie Collins, Christy Mathewson, Ty Cobb, George Sisler, Roger Hornsby, Mickey Cochrane, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Roberto Clemente, Lefty Grove, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, Jimmie Foxx, Pie Traynor, Satchel Paige, Honus Wagner, Josh Gibson, Dizzy Dean, and Lou Gehrig
July 12, 2014
U.S. Navy Submarines, Booklet Pane of 5 - 3/27/2000
Not until 1993 did the U.S. Postal Service finally honor America’s World War II Submariners. The U.S. Postal Service more than made up for lost time by handsomely recognizing the centennial of the world’s oldest Submarine Force. The 16-page prestige booklet it issued in 2000 featured two five-stamp souvenir sheets celebrating U.S. Submarines from the original USS Holland (SS 1) to today’s Ohio-class, which for 30 years has served as the ultimate guarantor of America’s freedom. (Source)
60¢ USS Holland, the first U.S. Navy Submarine, was commissioned on October 12, 1900.
20¢ S Class submarine developed during World War I.
$3.20 Gato Class submarine used in the Pacific in World War II.
33¢ Los Angeles Class nuclear-powered sub used during the Cold War.
55¢ Ohio Class nuclear-powered sub was designed to carry ballistic missiles. (Source)
July 11, 2014
Voyages of Columbus - Issued 5/22/1992
This Silk First Day Cover features the 16 stamp reproductions of the original 1893 Columbian commemoratives. This set was printed using the same plates as the legendary 1893 Columbians, which were the first U.S. commemorative stamps. And like the Columbians, this set was printed by the American Bank Note Company.
The stamps were issued in honor of the 500th anniversary of the voyages of Columbus to the New World.
“Silk” First Day Covers include a color illustration printed on satin-finish fabric, fastened to the cover and surrounded by a luxurious gold fabric border.
July 10, 2014
Numismatics - Issued on 8/13/1991
What is it you ask? I wasn't sure either. But it's the study of coins and currency and someone felt that it deserved it's own stamp back in the nineties.
July 9, 2014
William Saroyan - Issued on 5/22/1991
American author William Saroyan came to fame in 1934 with his short story, "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze." Though he wrote during the cynicism of the Great Depression, Saroyan managed to keep his stories light-hearted and optimistic.
William Saroyan (1908-81) Born in Fresno, California, Saroyan took to writing as a child, and sold his first story to a magazine when he was 20. In 1934, his first book was published, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze. During his long career, Saroyan wrote hundreds of short stories, essays, novels, plays, and autobiographical works in more than 40 books. Saroyan was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the play The Time of Your Life, but refused it, as he did not believe in literary prizes.
July 8, 2014
Horatio Alger - Issue on 4/30/1982
Introduced on the 150th anniversary of Horatio Alger's birth, this issue recognizes Alger's contribution to 19th-century children's literature and depicts some of his "rags to riches" characters. Horatio Alger (1834-99)
Author Alger was born in Revere, Massachusetts. His juvenile novels such as “Ragged Dick,” “Luck and Pluck,” and “Tattered Tom” made him one of the most beloved novelists of the latter half of the 1800s. The name “Horatio Alger” is still used to describe a “rags to riches” story.
July 7, 2014
Booby Jones - Issued on 9/22/1981
One of the greatest American golfers in the history of the sport, Bobby Jones entered his first national golf championship at the age of 14. During his career, Jones won four U.S. Open championships and finished second four more times. He also won three of the four British Open championships in which he competed.
July 5, 2014
Thomas H. Gallaudet - Issued on 6/10/1983
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet is a man of such renown in deaf education history that he was honored on a postage stamp by the U.S. Postal Service. Gallaudet's stamp was part of the "Great Americans" series put out by the Postal Service.
This stamp, released June 10, 1983, featured a drawing of Gallaudet by a hearing artist. A deaf artist, William Sparks, had also drawn Gallaudet for the drawing competition but his drawing was not selected. (Sparks' rejected drawing is not available for public viewing as it is the property of the U.S. Postal Service).
The day of release was marked by a ceremony at the American School for the Deaf (ASD) in West Hartford, Connecticut. That day West Hartford had a special cancellation stating "First Day of Issue." Other rarities were also offered:
- Illustrated envelope sets with the ASD, Gallaudet College, the Gallaudet/Cogswell statue, and Gallaudet's portrait.
- Historical fact sheet with the Gallaudet stamp
July 6, 2014
Arctic Explorers - Issued on 5/28/1986
This block of four stamps was issued to honor a number of men who played key roles in discovering and unlocking the North Pole.
Elisha Kent Kane sailed his tiny ship Advance northward – perhaps close enough to see the North Pole itself. His stamp shows his ship sinking, after being damaged by ice floes.
Adolphus Greely endured devastating hardships to reach a point that was the closest any explorer got to the North Pole for 21 years. His stamp pictures him and two helpers pulling a sled across the ice.
Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson’s expeditionary assaults ended in triumph at the North Pole in 1909. Their stamp illustrates the two men trekking northward, using a dog sled.
And Vilhjalmur Stefansson explored the Beaufort Sea – the last great unknown Arctic area. His stamp shows him carrying a harpoon and dragging his seal catch across the ice.
July 4, 2014
Pacific Northwest Indian Masks - Issued 9/25/1980
This se-tenant block of four was issued as part of the American Folk Art Series. Each stamp features a different carved mask, representing the craftsmanship of the tribes of the Pacific Northwest coastal region.
July 3, 2014
Wonders of America - Issued on 5/27/2006
The U.S.P.S. chose forty American natural and man-made superlatives - the tallest, the loudest, the oldest, the longest, the deepest, the largest, the windiest, the hottest, the fastest - to create a colorful set of stamps. (Source)
- Largest Reptile: American Alligator
- Highest Sea Cliffs: Moloka'i
- Tallest Cactus: Saguaro
- Largest Glacier: Bering Glacier
- Tallest Dunes: Great Sand Dunes
- Largest Estuary: Chesapeake Bay
- Largest Cliff Dwelling: Cliff Palace
- Deepest Lake: Crater Lake
- Largest Land Mammal: American Bison
- Longest Reef: Off the Florida Keys
- Longest Hiking Trail: Pacific Crest Trail
- Tallest Man-made Monument: Gateway Arch
- Oldest Mountains: Appalachians
- Largest Flower: American Lotus
- Largest Lake: Lake Superior
- Fastest Land Animal: Pronghom
- Oldest Trees: Bristlecone Pines
- Tallest Waterfall: Yosemite Falls
- Largest Desert: Great Basin
- Longest Span: Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
- Windiest Place: Mount Washington
- Largest Canyon: Grand Canyon
- Largest Frog: American Bullfrog
- Tallest Dam: Oroville Dam
- Fastest Bird: Peregrine Falcon
- Largest Delta: Mississippi River Delta
- Tallest Geyser: Steamboat
- Largest National Bridge: Rainbow Bridge
- Largest Freshwater Fish: White Sturgeon
- Longest Mountain Chain: Rocky Mountains
- Tallest Trees: Coast Redwoods
- Largest Rodent: American Beaver
- Longest River System: Mississippi-Missouri
- Rainiest Spot: Mount Wal'ale'ale
- Most Active Volcano: Kilauea
- Longest Cave: Mammoth Cave
- Loudest Animal: Blue Whale
- Hottest Spot: Death Valley
- Longest Covered Bridge: Cornish-Windsor Bridge
- Largest Plant: Quaking Aspen
July 2, 2014
Ronald Reagan - Issued on 2/9/2005
Ronald Wilson Reagan, who was known as the “Great Communicator,” was born to a poor Illinois family on February 6, 1911. He was interested in drama as a boy and got a sports broadcasting job after graduating from college. A screen test at Warner Brothers in 1937 led to an acting career that lasted nearly 30 years.
Politically, Reagan started out as a liberal Democrat. By the early 1950s, however, he was a conservative, and he joined the Republican Party in 1962. He was elected governor of California in 1966 and again in 1970.
Proclaiming the values of work, family, patriotism, and self-reliance, Reagan won a landslide victory in 1980, becoming the 40th President of the United States. After only a few months in office, the popular President was wounded in an attempted assassination. The 73-year-old Reagan ran successfully for a second term in 1984, becoming the oldest man ever elected President.
Reagan’s economic policy, “Reaganomics,” focused on tax cuts, reduced regulation of the marketplace, and less government spending. His foreign policy centered on opposing communism and strengthening defense.
Reagan was known for his optimism, humor, and ready smile. Ronald Reagan died on June 5, 2004. In 2006, the Ronald Reagan commemorative stamp was reissued with a denomination of 39¢ (U.S. #4078). (Source)
July 1, 2014
Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel - Issued on 3/2/2004
Oh, the places he'll go — through the U.S. mail.
Theodor Geisel, Springfield, Massachussetts' most famous literary native son who's best known as Dr. Seuss, is getting his face printed on a 37-cent postage stamp.
Geisel's widow will introduce the stamp Oct. 27 during a ceremony at the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield.
The stamp will feature a color photograph of the author of The Cat in the Hat and Oh, The Places You'll Go, surrounded by illustrations of six characters from his books.
Geisel died after a long illness in 1991 at 87.
June 30, 2014
Langston Hughes - Issued on February 1, 2002
The U.S. Postal Service unveiled a stamp honoring Langston Hughes, a poet, playwright and novelist who wrote a column in the Chicago Defender for 23 years.
The Hughes stamp is the 25th in the Postal Service's Black Heritage Commemorative Stamp series collection, which features African-American activists and leaders such as Malcolm X and Harriet Tubman.
Hughes, who is considered one of the most important authors of the 20th Century, wrote of black life in America. He wrote novels, short stories, plays and poems.
He was born Feb. 1, 1902, in Missouri and died May 22, 1967, in Harlem.
Hughes also started a theater group in Chicago.
June 29, 2014
Sylvester & Tweety - Issued on April 27, 1998
The Postal Service issued a self-adhesive souvenir sheet of ten 32-cent Sylvester and Tweety commemorative stamps on April 27, 1998, in New York, New York.
The stamp was designed by Brenda Guttman of Warner Bros., Burbank, California, and printed by Avery Dennison in the gravure process.
In addition to the 40 million panes of Sylvester and Tweety stamps produced to normal specifications, 500,000 were created specially die cut with the 10th stamp, the one in the panel, imperforate.
These panes were purchased enthusiastically and sold out within three and a half weeks. Because this sellout predated the issue of the USPS sales catalogue, many collectors complained they were not given a chance to purchase the special panes. In response, the Postal Service issued approximately 150,000 additional panes, available five per customer, through Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City.
June 28, 2014
Celebrating the Century: 1900 - Issued on 2/3/1998
Celebrate the Century is the name of a series of postage stamps made by the United States Postal Service featuring images recalling various important events in the 20th century in the United States. Ten of these sheets were issued, with each sheet depicting events of one decade of the 20th century, from the 1900s to 1990s. Fifteen stamps were embedded into each sheet. For the first eight sheets (1900s to 1970s) of the fifteen stamps, one stamp of each sheet was printed using the intaglio process, while the remaining fourteen were offset printed along with the rest of the sheet. All the sheets were printed by the Ashton-Potter USA printing company.
- 1st row: Ford Model T; President Theodore Roosevelt; Movie Great Train Robbery; Crayola crayons; St. Louis World's Fair
- 2nd row: Pure Food and Drug Act; Wright Flyer; Ashcan School
- 3rd row: Ellis Island; John Muir
- 4th row: Teddy bear; W. E. B. Du Bois; The Gibson Girl; 1903 World Series; Robie House
June 27, 2014
The World of Dinosaurs - Issued on May 1, 1997
In the 150-year history of the U.S. postage stamp, dinosaurs have been featured only twice. So you can imagine how thrilled James Gurney was to be selected to create the art for the dino stamps--"The World of Dinosaurs"--released May 1, 1997, by the U.S. Postal Service.
Gurney was chosen to create "The World of Dinosaurs" stamps by members of a special U.S. Postal Service committee. The committee asked Gurney to produce a scene that would include four dinosaur stamps. Gurney chose four dinosaurs that actually would have lived at the same time in North America. In September 1995, he quickly sketched a design that included the head of a T. rex and the bodies of three other dinosaurs.
June 26, 2014
Vintage Circus Posters - Issued on May 5, 2014
SARASOTA, FL — Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Children Of All Ages… step right up and share the magic of the circus as the U.S. Postal Service today issues the new, limited-edition Vintage Circus Posters Forever stamps. With the help of a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ringmaster and clowns, the new stamps were unveiled during an interactive stamp dedication ceremony held at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
The Vintage Circus Posters Forever stamps pay tribute to the wonder and amusement of the circus which Americans have enjoyed since the late 18th century. This pane of 16 self-adhesive stamps features reproductions of eight vintage circus posters. In the 19th century, lithography became the medium of choice for poster artists. The Amazing American Circus Poster, a book featuring the work of the Strobridge Lithographing Company, describes the process as being “based on the principle that oil and water do not mix.”
Using grease crayon or liquid, the artist applied the design in reverse onto a flat surface such as limestone. A chemical process fixed that grease image to the plate, making it receptive to holding ink. Then, the surface was moistened, covered with an oil-based ink and printed onto paper. During the process, the wet, blank areas repelled the ink.
Companies such as Strobridge and Erie Lithographing & Printing created bright, detailed works of art that were displayed prominently in cities and towns across the United States. These posters were not simply modest, restrained ads either. They were big and bold — just like the circuses they touted. Poster size was measured by the “sheet.” A sheet was 42 inches by 28 inches (or vice versa). But posters didn't stop at one sheet. There were two-sheet, three-sheet, four-sheet and even 12-sheet, 24-sheet and 100-sheet posters, which covered entire sides of buildings. The language incorporated on the posters was usually as colorful as the images it described.
These eye-popping late 19th and early 20th century posters showcased majestic elephants, fierce tigers and colorful clowns, alongside acts such as acrobatic gymnasts, graceful wire dancers and daring stuntmen. Colorful clowns were also poster mainstays. “Clowns might easily thrive outside the circus,” The Amazing American Circus Poster states, “but the idea of a circus without clowns is almost inconceivable.”
Each stamp features one vintage circus poster. The pane's verso text includes a brief discussion of the history and purpose of circus posters. The selvage features an image of a circus entrance shot by photographer Edward J. Kelty in 1937. Art director Greg Breeding worked on the stamp pane with designer Jennifer Arnold.
June 25, 2014
Send a Hello - Issued on 8/11/2011
Send a Hello commemorative stamp (Forever® priced at 44 cents) comes in five designs in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 467900).
With this issuance, the Postal Service explores Disney•Pixar films, which offer exciting, contemporary characters and strong themes involving family and friends. This pane of 20 stamps includes five different designs featuring characters Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars (2006); Remy the rat and Linguini from Ratatouille (2007); Buzz Lightyear and two of the green, three-eyed aliens from Toy Story (1995); Carl Fredricksen and Dug from Up (2009); and the robot WALL*E from WALL*E (2008). The back of the stamp pane shows seven blue-pencil sketches of the characters from these movies interspersed among text that discusses each film. Art directors Terrence W. McCaffrey and William J. Gicker worked with Disney•Pixar to design the stamp art.
June 24, 2014
The Pacific Coast Rainforest - Issued on 3/29/2000
The Pacific coast rain forest is an area of pristine wilderness protected by the National Park Service. It lies on the Olympic peninsula of Washington state in the valleys of the Quinault, Queets, and Hoh rivers.
Between 140 and 167 inches (12 to 14 feet) of rain falls in this area each year. The temperature rarely drops below freezing during winter, and summertime highs are usually 80 degrees. The Olympic Mountains to the east protect the rain forest from severe weather. Nearly every bit of space in the Pacific rain forest is inhabited by flora and fauna. Towering Sitka spruce and western hemlock trees, which can grow to 300 feet in height and 23 feet in circumference, dominate the landscape. Douglas fir, western red cedar, big leaf maple, red alder, vine maple, and black cottonwood trees can also be found in the forest. Mosses, lichens, and ferns are plentiful in the Pacific rain forest as well.
The rain forest is one of three distinct ecosystems of Olympic National Park. Glacier-capped mountains and over 60 miles of wild Pacific coast comprise the rest of this biologically diverse park. A distinct array of plants and animals developed on the Olympic Peninsula because of its isolated location near glacial ice, the waters of Puget Sound, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
June 23, 2014
Apples Postcard Stamps - Issued on 1/17/2013
YAKIMA, WA — Postcards navigating the nation’s mail stream will begin to bear four varieties of fruit now that the Postal Service has harvested the 33-cent Apples Postcard stamps.
Featuring images of the Northern Spy, Golden Delicious, Baldwin and Granny Smith apples, the stamp art was illustrated with pen and ink and watercolor, with some additional detail added on computer. Designed by art director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, the Apples Postcard stamps features the work of John Burgoyne of West Barnstable, MA.
“Spies are for pies!” The homey little rhyme offers a reminder that generations of cooks have found the Northern Spy apple delicious when baked in desserts. Its tart, tangy taste makes it less of a favorite for eating in hand, for some people, but it stores well and tends to last longer because of its late season. This variety is also good for cider and juice. A Northern Spy apple tree was reportedly “discovered” around 1800 near Rochester, NY.
The Golden Delicious apple, named for its yellow-gold skin and sweet flavor, was declared the official state fruit of West Virginia in 1995. This tasty variety was first found 90 years earlier on the Mullins family farm in that state’s Clay County. Unsurprisingly, news of the Mullins family’s wonderful apple caused a “gold” rush. It quickly became a popular variety both in America and abroad, and is now planted wherever apples are grown around the world. A yearly Golden Delicious Festival has been held in Clay County since 1972.
The juicy and aromatic Baldwin apple, thought to be native to Massachusetts, is named for Colonel Loammi Baldwin, a politician and soldier in the American Revolutionary War who was greatly responsible for spreading its popularity throughout colonial New England. These winter apples are delicious when eaten in season — fresh, cooked or in baked goods — and are prized by makers of cider.
Though people have been cultivating apples since the Stone Age, the Granny Smith variety isn’t that old. It is said to have originated in the late 1860s in a suburb of Sydney, Australia, where a local grandmother cared for and reproduced a chance seedling. About a hundred years after she first marketed them at home, Granny Smith apples became popular in the United States. This tart green fruit, now one of the world’s most well-known varieties, is sometimes called the Green Delicious, especially in Canada.
June 22, 2014
Gingerbread House - Issued on 11/6/2013
These new, festive Holiday series stamps capture the whimsical and delicious tradition of making gingerbread houses. The stamp art features four different colorful houses constructed out of gingerbread, royal icing, and various candies. Each house is set against a bright blue background. Sally Andersen-Bruce photographed the houses, which were created by baker Teresa Layman. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.
June 21, 2014
Battle of Lake Erie - Issued on 9/10/13
PUT-IN-BAY, OH — Two hundred years ago, the phrase, “We have met the enemy and they are ours,” was penned by U.S. Navy Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry in a report notifying General William Henry Harrison that the British had been defeated at the historic Battle of Lake Erie.
To commemorate this resounding triumph of the War of 1812 the U.S. Postal Service dedicated the War of 1812: Battle of Lake Erie Forever stamp today. The First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony took place at the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial on South Bass Island in Lake Erie near the location of the battle.
June 20, 2014
20th Century Poets - Issued on 4/21/12
LOS ANGELES — Against the electric backdrop of the 17th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, at the University of Southern California (USC), the U.S. Postal Service today honored 10 of this nation’s most illustrious poets of the 20th century on 45-cent First-Class Mail Forever stamps.
The Twentieth-Century Poets honored by the Postal Service include Elizabeth Bishop, Joseph Brodsky, Gwendolyn Brooks, E.E. Cummings, Robert Hayden, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams. Each stamp features a photograph of one of the 10 poets. Text on the back of the stamp sheet includes an excerpt from one poem by each poet. The art director was Derry Noyes.
June 18, 2014
New England Coastal Lighthouses - Issued 7/11/13
WASHINGTON — Five lighthouses that for centuries enabled sailors to safely navigate the waters along the northeastern United States stand tall on postage Saturday, July 13, with the issuance of the New England Coastal Lighthouse Forever stamps.
- Portland Headlight, 1000 Shore Rd., Cape Elizabeth, ME
- Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, 25 Wentworth Rd., New Castle, NH
- Boston Lighthouse event: Although the Boston Light is located in Boston Harbor, the dedication ceremony will take place at 191 Atlantic, Ave., on Rose Kennedy Greenway between Faneuil Hall and the Boston Harbor Hotel.
- Port Judith Lighthouse, 1470 Ocean Rd., Narragansett, RI
- New London Light ceremony to take place at the New London Maritime Society, 150 Bank St., New London, CT
The stamp art for each of the lighthouses is a painting based on contemporary photographs. The New England Coastal Lighthouses Forever stamps were designed by art directors Howard E. Paine of Delaplane, VA, and Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, VA, painted by artist Howard Koslow of Toms River, NJ.
June 19, 2014
Ray Charles - Issued 9/23/13
WASHINGTON — On what would have been his 83rd birthday, the “father of soul,” Ray Charles, returns to two “stamping ovations” today as the latest inductee into the Postal Service’s Music Icons Forever Stamp Series. Chaka Khan will perform at the Los Angeles first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony and Ashanti will highlight the Atlanta event.
The Ray Charles Forever Stamp features an image of Charles taken later in his career by photographer Yves Carrère. The photograph belongs to Mephisto Jazz, represented worldwide by the Dalle agency. The stamp sheet was designed to evoke the appearance of a 45 rpm single peeking out of a record sleeve above the stamps themselves. On the reverse side, the sheet includes a larger version of the photograph featured on the stamp as well as the logo for the Music Icons series. Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the stamp pane with designer Neal Ashby.
June 17, 2014
Harry Potter - Issued 11/19/13
ORLANDO, FL — With Hogwarts castle as the backdrop, the U.S. Postal Service today dedicated 20 new Forever stamps featuring images of Harry Potter, the extraordinary boy wizard, and the adventures he encounters with the friends, heroes, villains and creatures that make up his world.
The folded 20-stamp booklet has five pages. When folded, the front cover features the title Harry Potter, with an image of Harry playing Quidditch, the beloved wizarding sport. The back cover has a picture of a young Harry in class, taking notes with his quill; the title Harry Potter is centered under the picture. When the booklet is opened, an illustration of Hogwarts castle covers two pages on the back, with text that reads, "Just before his eleventh birthday, a boy received a letter that would change his life...and captivate the imagination of fans for generations." Selvage text appears on the fifth page.
Inside are five groupings of four stamps, each grouping set on its own page. Each set of four stamps surrounds the red wax seal of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The stamps feature scenes of some of the brave heroes, fearsome villains and extraordinary creatures that inhabit Harry’s world in the Warner Bros. films.