1960-61 4¢ Francis Scott Key
American Credo Series
Issue Date: September 14, 1960
City: Baltimore, Maryland
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Giori Press
Color: Carmine and dark blue
The quote inscribed on U.S. #1142 came from Francis Scott Key’s poem, “Defense of Fort McHenry.” The poem, once set to a tune popular at the time called “To Anacreon in Heaven,” became the “Star-Spangled Banner, and our nation’s national anthem.
The popular form of the anthem, sung at meetings and events around the country, only features the first stanza. Key’s lyrics included four stanzas, with the highlighted quotation appearing at the end of the song: “And this be our motto: ‘In God we trust’ / And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”
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.