1986 22c AMERIPEX '86 Presidents

# 2216-19 - 1986 22c AMERIPEX '86 Presidents

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U.S. #2216-19
1986 22¢ AMERIPEX '86 Presidents
Set of four miniature sheets of nine

  • First mini-sheets issued by the USPS
  • Honored all 35 deceased US presidents up to that time
  • Issued at AMERIPEX ’86 Stamp Show in Chicago

Stamp Category:  Commemorative, Definitive, Express Mail, semi-postal, airmail
Value: 
22¢, first-class rate
First Day of Issue: 
May 22, 1986
First Day City: 
Chicago, Illinois
Quantity Issued: 
5,825,050 of each sheet
Printed by: 
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: 
Lithographed & engraved
Format: 
Mini sheetlets of nine printed in sheets of eight
Perforations:  11

Why the stamps were issued:  This ambitious set was the first since the 1938 Presidential Series to honor all of America’s deceased presidents.  At the time of the 1938 series, 12 presidents had never been honored on stamps before.  However, with this issue, all of the presidents had previously been honored with at least one stamp, including the six presidents that had served since the 1938 series.

 

About the stamp designs:  The USPS began working on these stamps in 1982.  The first stamp design unveiled to the public was the Martin Van Buren stamp later that year.  There had been calls for a stamp honoring his 200th anniversary, but the USPS didn’t want to create additional presidential stamps with these unannounced presidential mini sheets in the way.

 

These were the first stamp deigns for Jerry Dadds, an artist known for his woodcut creations.  He didn’t produce traditional woodcut blocks for these stamps, rather he illustrated them in a style closely resembling woodcuts.  Dadds worked alongside the USPS for hours examining hundreds of photos, paintings, and etchings of each president.

 

The stamps picture all 35 deceased US presidents up to that time, shown in chronological order, from George Washington to Lyndon B. Johnson.  The fourth sheet includes a center stamp picturing the north portico of the White House.  Each stamp includes a portrait, red signature, name, and years in office.

 

About the printing process:  Printing of the Presidential sheetlets began in September 1985.  Each print run on the BEP’s offset/intaglio D Press included all four sheets in chronological order.  The stamps were printed on a special paper, used previously for the 1985 Frederic Bartholdi stamp.  The paper, provided by the Henry Slatter Company of Great Britain, was a harder coated paper than the soft uncoated paper usually used for engraved stamps.  This special paper was needed because the majority of the printing area was covered in offset ink.  During the cutting process, some sheetlets were cut three millimeters larger than the official dimensions released by the USPS.  As a result, some collectors had to trim their sheetlets to fit into the mounts created based on the official dimensions.

 

First Day City:  The First Day ceremony for these stamps was held at the Conference Center of Chicago’s O’Hare Exposition Center during the 1986 AMERIPEX stamp show.  The packed crowd of collectors were entertained by four historical reenactors portraying Ben Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

 

In the year after these stamps were issued, collectors could also send individual president stamped covers to “birthplace postal stations” on each of their birthdays.

 

Unusual fact about these stamps:  Error varieties of these stamps include blue engraving omitted, black inscription omitted, double impressions, tagging omitted, and a very rare fully imperforate pane.

 

About Stamp Exhibitions:  Stamp shows had been held in other countries as early as 1870.  And in 1889, the US held its first stamp exhibition at the Eden Musee in New York City. Others would follow, but none in the US were international events until 1913.

 

The 1913 IPEX was dubbed the “Great Exhibition” and was held at the Engineering Sciences Building at 25 East 39th Street in New York City.  Unlike later stamp shows, the Great Exhibition didn’t include special cacheted covers, souvenir sheets, commemorative stamps, or special cancellations.  However, the Hamilton Bank Note Company of New York did produce a set of steel engraved poster stamps to promote the show. 

 

In 1926, the US hosted its second international philatelic exhibition, again in New York City.  This time, the post office issued its first postage stamp for an international philatelic exhibition.  It was also America’s first souvenir sheet, honoring the Battle of White Plains – US #630.

 

Since then, the USPS has issued stamps and/or souvenir sheets for all international philatelic exhibitions in the US:

 

1936 TIPEX

1947 CIPEX

1956 FIPEX

1966 SIPEX

1976 INTERPHIL

1986 AMERIPEX

1997 Pacific '97

Washington 2006

2016 World Stamp Show NY

 

History the stamp represents:  On August 12, 1955, the Presidential Libraries Act was passed, providing for the organized transfer of presidential papers and other items to the federal government.

 

Prior to this, presidential papers were seen as the president’s personal property.  Most presidents took their papers with them after they left office.  Some of these were destroyed, sold, or split up between multiple people.

 

Over time, some presidential papers were collected in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, while libraries, historical societies, and private collectors acquired others.  James A. Garfield’s widow Lucretia, added a Memorial Library to their home in Ohio after he was assassinated.  This later became the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, which is operated by the National Park Service and the Western Reserve Historical Society.

 

It wasn’t until Franklin Roosevelt was president that these practices began to change.  Roosevelt believed that presidential papers were part of the national heritage and should be open to the public.  In 1939, Roosevelt bequeathed his papers to the government and donated part of his Hyde Park, New York, estate for a library.

 

Franklin’s successor, Harry S. Truman, saw the value in his idea for a presidential library and in 1950 decided that he would build one of his own.  He tasked one of his assistants to work with the archivist of the United States on arranging the transfer of his papers to the government.  They worked together to draft the Federal Records Act, which gave the government permission to accept presidential records.  However, shortly after the act was passed in 1950, it revealed several problems.  It didn’t protect Truman’s papers from unauthorized access and it didn’t allow the government to accept land and a building for the library. 

 

Soon Truman and his advisors recognized that a new law was needed.  However, the process moved slowly, as Congress was fighting over the cost of operating the Roosevelt library.  A new bill was drafted in 1952, but it was never sent to Congress.  When Truman left office in 1953, he took his papers with him, though they were promised to the government.

 

Truman continued to plan for his library and worked with his former advisors on drafting new legislation.  The House held hearings on the Presidential Libraries Act on June 13, 1955.  No one testified against the act and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law on August 12, 1955.  The act enabled the presidents to donate their materials to the government but did not require them to do so.

 

The Harry S. Truman Library, located in Independence, Missouri, was the first Presidential Library created under the 1955 Act.  Until 1978, presidents had regarded White House files as their personal property after they left office.  The Presidential Records Act of 1978 established that presidential records belonged to the US government.  Additional laws were passed in 1986 and 2008, requiring private endowments to help meet the costs of the libraries and authorizing grants for Presidential Centers of Historical Excellence.

 

Today there are 13 presidential libraries containing over 400 million pages of documents, 10 million photos, 15 million feet of motion picture film, 100,000 hours of audio and video recordings, and 500,000 museum objects.  

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U.S. #2216-19
1986 22¢ AMERIPEX '86 Presidents
Set of four miniature sheets of nine

  • First mini-sheets issued by the USPS
  • Honored all 35 deceased US presidents up to that time
  • Issued at AMERIPEX ’86 Stamp Show in Chicago

Stamp Category:  Commemorative, Definitive, Express Mail, semi-postal, airmail
Value: 
22¢, first-class rate
First Day of Issue: 
May 22, 1986
First Day City: 
Chicago, Illinois
Quantity Issued: 
5,825,050 of each sheet
Printed by: 
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: 
Lithographed & engraved
Format: 
Mini sheetlets of nine printed in sheets of eight
Perforations:  11

Why the stamps were issued:  This ambitious set was the first since the 1938 Presidential Series to honor all of America’s deceased presidents.  At the time of the 1938 series, 12 presidents had never been honored on stamps before.  However, with this issue, all of the presidents had previously been honored with at least one stamp, including the six presidents that had served since the 1938 series.

 

About the stamp designs:  The USPS began working on these stamps in 1982.  The first stamp design unveiled to the public was the Martin Van Buren stamp later that year.  There had been calls for a stamp honoring his 200th anniversary, but the USPS didn’t want to create additional presidential stamps with these unannounced presidential mini sheets in the way.

 

These were the first stamp deigns for Jerry Dadds, an artist known for his woodcut creations.  He didn’t produce traditional woodcut blocks for these stamps, rather he illustrated them in a style closely resembling woodcuts.  Dadds worked alongside the USPS for hours examining hundreds of photos, paintings, and etchings of each president.

 

The stamps picture all 35 deceased US presidents up to that time, shown in chronological order, from George Washington to Lyndon B. Johnson.  The fourth sheet includes a center stamp picturing the north portico of the White House.  Each stamp includes a portrait, red signature, name, and years in office.

 

About the printing process:  Printing of the Presidential sheetlets began in September 1985.  Each print run on the BEP’s offset/intaglio D Press included all four sheets in chronological order.  The stamps were printed on a special paper, used previously for the 1985 Frederic Bartholdi stamp.  The paper, provided by the Henry Slatter Company of Great Britain, was a harder coated paper than the soft uncoated paper usually used for engraved stamps.  This special paper was needed because the majority of the printing area was covered in offset ink.  During the cutting process, some sheetlets were cut three millimeters larger than the official dimensions released by the USPS.  As a result, some collectors had to trim their sheetlets to fit into the mounts created based on the official dimensions.

 

First Day City:  The First Day ceremony for these stamps was held at the Conference Center of Chicago’s O’Hare Exposition Center during the 1986 AMERIPEX stamp show.  The packed crowd of collectors were entertained by four historical reenactors portraying Ben Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

 

In the year after these stamps were issued, collectors could also send individual president stamped covers to “birthplace postal stations” on each of their birthdays.

 

Unusual fact about these stamps:  Error varieties of these stamps include blue engraving omitted, black inscription omitted, double impressions, tagging omitted, and a very rare fully imperforate pane.

 

About Stamp Exhibitions:  Stamp shows had been held in other countries as early as 1870.  And in 1889, the US held its first stamp exhibition at the Eden Musee in New York City. Others would follow, but none in the US were international events until 1913.

 

The 1913 IPEX was dubbed the “Great Exhibition” and was held at the Engineering Sciences Building at 25 East 39th Street in New York City.  Unlike later stamp shows, the Great Exhibition didn’t include special cacheted covers, souvenir sheets, commemorative stamps, or special cancellations.  However, the Hamilton Bank Note Company of New York did produce a set of steel engraved poster stamps to promote the show. 

 

In 1926, the US hosted its second international philatelic exhibition, again in New York City.  This time, the post office issued its first postage stamp for an international philatelic exhibition.  It was also America’s first souvenir sheet, honoring the Battle of White Plains – US #630.

 

Since then, the USPS has issued stamps and/or souvenir sheets for all international philatelic exhibitions in the US:

 

1936 TIPEX

1947 CIPEX

1956 FIPEX

1966 SIPEX

1976 INTERPHIL

1986 AMERIPEX

1997 Pacific '97

Washington 2006

2016 World Stamp Show NY

 

History the stamp represents:  On August 12, 1955, the Presidential Libraries Act was passed, providing for the organized transfer of presidential papers and other items to the federal government.

 

Prior to this, presidential papers were seen as the president’s personal property.  Most presidents took their papers with them after they left office.  Some of these were destroyed, sold, or split up between multiple people.

 

Over time, some presidential papers were collected in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, while libraries, historical societies, and private collectors acquired others.  James A. Garfield’s widow Lucretia, added a Memorial Library to their home in Ohio after he was assassinated.  This later became the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, which is operated by the National Park Service and the Western Reserve Historical Society.

 

It wasn’t until Franklin Roosevelt was president that these practices began to change.  Roosevelt believed that presidential papers were part of the national heritage and should be open to the public.  In 1939, Roosevelt bequeathed his papers to the government and donated part of his Hyde Park, New York, estate for a library.

 

Franklin’s successor, Harry S. Truman, saw the value in his idea for a presidential library and in 1950 decided that he would build one of his own.  He tasked one of his assistants to work with the archivist of the United States on arranging the transfer of his papers to the government.  They worked together to draft the Federal Records Act, which gave the government permission to accept presidential records.  However, shortly after the act was passed in 1950, it revealed several problems.  It didn’t protect Truman’s papers from unauthorized access and it didn’t allow the government to accept land and a building for the library. 

 

Soon Truman and his advisors recognized that a new law was needed.  However, the process moved slowly, as Congress was fighting over the cost of operating the Roosevelt library.  A new bill was drafted in 1952, but it was never sent to Congress.  When Truman left office in 1953, he took his papers with him, though they were promised to the government.

 

Truman continued to plan for his library and worked with his former advisors on drafting new legislation.  The House held hearings on the Presidential Libraries Act on June 13, 1955.  No one testified against the act and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law on August 12, 1955.  The act enabled the presidents to donate their materials to the government but did not require them to do so.

 

The Harry S. Truman Library, located in Independence, Missouri, was the first Presidential Library created under the 1955 Act.  Until 1978, presidents had regarded White House files as their personal property after they left office.  The Presidential Records Act of 1978 established that presidential records belonged to the US government.  Additional laws were passed in 1986 and 2008, requiring private endowments to help meet the costs of the libraries and authorizing grants for Presidential Centers of Historical Excellence.

 

Today there are 13 presidential libraries containing over 400 million pages of documents, 10 million photos, 15 million feet of motion picture film, 100,000 hours of audio and video recordings, and 500,000 museum objects.