1977 13¢ Articles of Confederation
Issue Date: September 30, 1977
City: York, PA
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Engraved
Perforations: 11 x 10 ½
Color: Red and brown
Commemorates the 200th anniversary of the drafting of the Articles of Confederation, which took place in York Town, Pennsylvania.
The Articles of Confederation Establish
the First Government of the United States
From 1781-89, the Articles of Confederation served as the first constitution of the United States. The Second Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia, drafted the Articles of Confederation after Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed establishing a confederation on June 7, 1776. John Dickinson of Pennsylvania had created its first draft within a month, and on November 15, 1777, the Congress adopted a final version. By March 1, 1781, all 13 states had ratified the document.
The Articles of Confederation established a “firm league of friendship” among the 13 states. It gave the Congress responsibility for conducting foreign affairs (including war), maintaining an army and navy, and many other functions. However, it did not give the Congress the power to tax, regulate commerce, or enforce laws. The document’s shortcomings led to the creation of the U.S. Constitution.
The Bicentennial Series
The U.S. Bicentennial was a series of celebrations during the mid-1970s that commemorated the historic events leading to America’s independence from Great Britain. The official events began on April 1, 1975, when the American Freedom Train departed Delaware to begin a 21-month, 25,338-mile tour of the 48 contiguous states. For more than a year, a wave of patriotism swept the nation as elaborate firework displays lit up skies across the U.S., an international fleet of tall-mast sailing ships gathered in New York City and Boston, and Queen Elizabeth made a state visit. The celebration culminated on July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
The U.S.P.S. issued 113 commemorative stamps over a six-year period in honor of the U.S. bicentennial, beginning with the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission Emblem stamp (U.S. #1432). As a group, the Bicentennial Series chronicles one of our nation’s most important chapters, and remembers the events and patriots who made the U.S. a world model for liberty.