1960-61 4¢ George Washington
American Credo Series
Issue Date: January 20, 1960
City: Mount Vernon, Virginia
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Giori Press
Color: Dark violet blue and carmine
U.S. #1139 was the first of the American Credo Series stamps to be issued. It pictures George Washington and was first released at his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia. The stamp includes a line from George Washington’s farewell speech in 1796.
“Observe Good Faith and Justice Towards All Nations”
George Washington’s 1796 farewell speech served as the foundation for a substantial portion of American domestic and foreign policy. In the speech, Washington urged unity among the states, warned of divisions brought on by political parties, upheld the sanctity of the Constitution, encouraged a balance of power, and discouraged American involvement in European military affairs. Washington’s words reveal that he foresaw America’s rise to a world power if the young nation were given a period to rebuild and grow.
The Post Office Department released a new series of stamps in 1960 that shared well-known principles said in a few words by some of America’s early leaders. The first stamp, featuring George Washington, appeared in January 1960, with five more issued over the next year. The stamps were designed to resemble colonial currency. Also, symbols that relate to the statement are used in the designs, as well as a likeness of the author’s signature.
The individual principles were chosen by one hundred distinguished Americans. The selected quotes came from Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Francis Scott Key, Abraham Lincoln, and Patrick Henry.