5¢ Hugo Black
Great Americans Series
Issue Date: February 27, 1986
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Engraved
Color: Dark olive green
Appointed in 1937 as an associate justice, Hugo L. Black served on the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. An eloquent speaker, he strongly supported government protection of civil rights. Experts state he was second only to John Marshall in his impact on the Constitution. Black is pictured on the 5¢ Great Americans stamp.
Issued between 1980 and 1999, the Great Americans definitive series features 63 designs, making it the largest set of face different Regular Issue stamps issued in the 20th century. One stamp honors a couple (Lila and Dewitt Wallace) while the remaining 62 commemorate individuals.
The series is characterized by a standard definitive size, simple design and monochromatic colors. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced most of the stamps, but some were printed by private firms. Several stamps saw multiple printings. The result is many different varieties, with tagging being the key to understanding them.