The popular “Great Americans” Series honors special Americans from all walks of life and remembers each of them for their contributions to society. Twenty-six different stamps in this special set pay tribute to important individuals who were leaders in education, the military, literature, the arts, and human and civil rights. Included are:
• Sylvanus Thayer, U.S. Army engineer who, as superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for 16 years, instituted professional standards and high ideals of duty, honor, and loyalty. His cadets reflected these during the Civil War.
• Sequoyah, a Cherokee Indian who developed a system of writing for his people. He used his new alphabet to record ancient tribal customs and became the first Native American historian.
• Thomas H. Gallaudet, educational philanthropist who founded the first school for the deaf. Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., established and named in his honor after his death, is the only liberal arts college for deaf people in the world.
• Frank C. Laubach, a missionary and educator who cared enough about literacy to found Laubach Literacy International in the 1930s, the world’s first volunteer literacy organization.
• Pearl Buck, author who wrote sympathetically about life in China. In all her 65 books, she encouraged greater understanding between the people of Asia and the West. In 1932, she won the Pulitzer Prize for “The Good Earth”; in 1938, the Nobel Prize for Literature.
• Rachel Carson, marine biologist and writer whose book “The Sea Around Us” pointed out the interrelationship of all living things and humanity’s dependence on natural processes. “Silent Spring” called attention to the overuse and misuse of pesticides, which were poisoning the food chain, and threatening life itself. “Silent Spring” was instrumental in the banning of the pesticide DDT.