Prominent Americans Series
Issue Date: November 17, 1967
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Prominent Americans Series
The Prominent Americans Series recognizes people who played important roles in U.S. history. Officials originally planned to honor 18 individuals, but later added seven others. The Prominent Americans Series began with the 4¢ Lincoln stamp, which was issued on November 10, 1965. During the course of the series, the 6¢ Eisenhower stamp was reissued with an 8¢ denomination and the 5¢ Washington was redrawn, creating U.S. #1283B.
A number of technological changes developed during the course of producing the series, resulting in a number of varieties due to gum, luminescence, precancels and perforations plus sheet, coil and booklet formats. Additionally, seven rate changes occurred while the Prominent Americans Series was current, giving collectors who specialize in first and last day of issue covers an abundance of collecting opportunities.
The “Father of our Country”
The American people loved George Washington. His army officers would have made him king, if he had let them. Instead, he returned to Mount Vernon for five peaceful years. But, it wasn’t long before he was called again to serve his country, as the head of the Virginia delegation to the Constitutional Convention. After the United States Constitution was approved, Washington became the nation’s first President, winning all the available electoral votes. And when Washington was re-elected in 1792, he again received the highest-possible number of electoral votes.
President Washington successfully solved many of the problems of making the government established by the U.S. Constitution into a truly functional government. Washington believed the Constitution called for the branches of government to be kept separate. He felt the President should not attempt to influence the legislation passed by Congress – unless it was through presidential veto. Washington maintained that the presidency was for the administration of law and for maintaining relations with foreign nations.
After two terms, Washington retired to Mount Vernon. But he again served his country. On July 4, 1798, he was commissioned as “Lieutenant General and Commander in Chief of the armies raised and to be raised,” and asked to raise an army for the nation’s defense.
Washington died at Mount Vernon at the age of 67. In 1776, he was given the rank of General of the Armies of the United States, making him the highest-ranking officer in U.S. history. No other American is as honored as the “Father of our Country.” His portrait is featured on numerous postage stamps, the $1 bill, and the quarter. The capital and a state are named in his honor. The Washington Monument, a giant obelisk erected in his honor in Washington, D.C., was completed in 1880.