6¢ Theodore Roosevelt
Issue Date: November 18, 1955
City: New York, NY
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10½
The portrait of Theodore Roosevelt pictured on U.S. #1039 is taken from a painting by Philip A. de Laszlo.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
The youngest man ever to become president, Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 27, 1858. He graduated from Harvard in 1880, and in 1881, at the age of 23, was elected to the New York state assembly.
Roosevelt was appointed President Benjamin Harrison’s Civil Service commissioner in 1888, and president of the Board of Police Commissioners in New York City in 1895. That year, he became the assistant secretary of the Navy. When the Spanish-American War began on April 25, 1898, Roosevelt resigned so he could take a position where he could fight. He earned great fame as the leader of the Rough Riders cavalry regiment. This fame helped Roosevelt win election as the governor of New York.
He served as vice president under President William McKinley. When McKinley was assassinated six months into his second term on September 6, 1901, Roosevelt became president. He was elected to the nation’s highest office in 1904.
Roosevelt strengthened the power of the presidency. At home he brought reform, limiting the power of big business, regulating the railroads, protecting the public from harmful foods and drugs, and conserving natural resources. He also worked hard to make America a leader in international affairs. His motto for foreign policy was: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” He favored a strong military. During his administration, the U.S. began building the Panama Canal, kept European nations from interfering in Latin America, and helped end the Russo-Japanese War. In 1906, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. He was the first American to receive this honor.
The Liberty Series
Issued to replace the 1938 Presidential series, this patriotic set of stamps honors guardians of freedom throughout U.S. history. Eighteenth century America is represented by Revolutionary War heroes and statesmen such as Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Henry, Jay, and Revere.
Leaders of the 19th century including Monroe, Lincoln, Lee, Harrison, and Susan B. Anthony make an appearance. The 20th century is represented by Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and General Pershing.
The Liberty Series also features famous locations important to America’s democratic history, such as Bunker Hill, Independence Hall, and the Alamo.
“Wet” versus “Dry” Printing
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing began an experiment in 1954. In previous “wet” printings, the paper had a moisture content of 15 to 35 percent. In the experimental “dry” printings, the paper had a moisture content of 5 to 10 percent. This process required stiffer, thicker paper, special inks, and greater pressure to force the paper through the plates.
Stamps produced by dry printing can be distinguished by whiter paper and higher surface sheen. The stamps feel thicker and the designs are more pronounced than on wet printings. So the dry printing experiment was a success, and all U.S. postage stamps have been printed by this method since the late 1950s.