7¢ Woodrow Wilson
Issue Date: January 10, 1956
City: Staunton, VA
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10½
Color: Rose carmine
U.S. #1040 features a portrait of Woodrow Wilson based on a drawing by F. Graham Cootes.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)
28th U.S. President
Historians agree Woodrow Wilson was one of the three or four most successful U.S. Presidents. This is not surprising, as an examination of Wilson’s earlier career reveals he was successful at all of his endeavors. He was a noted scholar, teacher, university president, and football coach. From 1910 to 1912, Wilson was governor of New Jersey. He became known as a hard-working, progressive leader, willing to listen to others. Wilson was instrumental in the passing of important laws reforming schools and city governments. Governor Wilson’s success paved the way for his victorious presidential campaign.
During his first administration (1913-17), President Wilson was determined to keep the United States out of the growing tensions in Europe. At the outbreak of World War I (1914-18), Wilson stated the U.S. “must be neutral in fact as well as in name... we must be impartial in thoughts as well as action.” President Wilson favored neutrality even after Germany sank the British passenger ship Lusitania.
Wilson campaigned for reelection with the slogan, “He kept us out of war.” However, during his second administration (1917-1921), the President found this an even greater difficulty. In February 1917, Germany began sinking all merchant ships, including American vessels. Soon after, the British uncovered a plan to instigate war between the U.S. and Mexico. President Wilson had no choice but to ask the Congress to declare war.
On January 8, 1918, Wilson gave his “Fourteen Points” speech, which historians believe to be the most important of his political career. In his speech, Wilson planned for a peace settlement and means of maintaining peace. The last point called for creating a League of Nations. Although his efforts to create the League of Nations failed, his ideas were the forerunner of the United Nations.
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.