$2 William J. Bryan
Great Americans Series
Issue Date: March 19, 1986
City: Salem, IL
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Engraved
Color: Bright violet
A noted orator and statesman, William Jennings Bryan was the voice of the common man. As a U.S. Representative, he led the Populist party against the wealthy and powerful Republican party. He ran for the presidency three times, and each time met defeat. Bryan's last public appearance was as the prosecuting attorney in the Scopes "monkey trial." Bryan is pictured on the $2 Great Americans stamp.
Issued between 1980 and 1999, the Great Americans definitive series features 63 designs, making it the larges 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.