#2869//3408 – 1994-2000 Classic Sheets, collection of 9

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- Mint Stamp(s)
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1994-2000 Classic Sheet Collection
  
This set contains nine sheets from the Classic Collection. Two or three sheets were released each year with the same unique 20-stamp format. Broadly-defined Americana themes, exceptional artwork, a banner printed on the selvage of the sheet, and descriptive text on the back of each stamp make them a favorite with collectors.
 
1994 29¢ Legends of the West: This set pays tribute to 16 individuals and features four topic-oriented stamps as well. Each of the individuals honored played an important part in the amazing history of America.
 
This famous issue contained two mistakes made by the United States Postal Service and led to a string of events without precedent in the history of U.S. stamp collecting.
 
One of the people to be featured on the sheet was black rodeo star Bill Pickett.  After the stamps were announced, but not officially issued, a radio reporter phoned Frank Phillips Jr., great-grandson of Bill Pickett, and asked him about the stamp. Phillips went to his local post office, looked at the design and recognized it as Ben Pickett – Bill’s brother and business associate. The stamp pictured the wrong man! That was the first mistake.
 
Phillips complained to the Postal Service and Postmaster General Marvin Runyon issued an order to recall and destroy the error stamps. Runyon also ordered new revised stamps be created – these are the corrected Legends of the West stamps (#2869).
 
But before the recall, 186 error sheets were sold by postal workers – before the official “first day of issue.” This was the second mistake. These error sheets were being resold for sums ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 each!
 
Several weeks later the U.S. Postal Service announced that 150,000 error sheets would be sold at face value by means of a mail order lottery. This unprecedented move was made with the permission of Frank Phillips Jr. so the Post Office could recover its printing cost and not lose money. Sales were limited to one per household. The remaining stamps were destroyed.
 
1995 32¢ Civil War: The release of the 20 Civil War stamps marked the most extensive effort in the history of the U.S. Postal Service to review and verify the historical accuracy of stamp subjects. Each of the 16 individuals and four battles featured were chosen from a master list of 50 subjects, which included Presidents, generals, major battles, rank-and-file soldiers, women, African and Native Americans, and abolitionists. The goal of the U.S.P.S. was to show the wide variety of people who participated in the Civil War.
 
1995 32¢ Comic Strip Classics: Each of these 20 stamps features a comic strip classic. Daily and weekly newspapers have brought Americans cartoons since 1895. It is reported that 86 million adults and 17 million children in the U.S. read the Sunday comics each week! In fact, comic strips are considered one of America's only indigenous art forms. The comic strip and its characters have popularized words and phrases, such as "I Yam Wot I Yam," from Popeye, and even the foods we eat, like the "Dagwood" sandwich from Blondie. Comics have become movies ("Popeye"), and Broadway Shows ("Annie"). This sheet honors comic strips created within the first 50 years of comics, from 1895 to 1945.
 
1996 32¢ Atlanta 1996: Held in Atlanta, Georgia, the 1996 Olympic Summer Games marked the 100th anniversary of the modern Olympics. More than 11,000 athletes from 197 countries reached for excellence as they took to heart the Olympic motto, "Swifter, Higher, Stronger."
 
1997 32¢ Classic American Aircraft: Planes representing the first fifty years of flight in America are featured on this sheet. Walter Boyne, retired U.S. Air Force pilot and first director of the National Air and Space Museum, compiled the list of 20 planes. Boyne selected the subjects based on factors such as their importance to aviation, public perception, and distinctive appearance.
 
1998 32¢ Four Centuries of American Art: This pane features twenty of the most important and famous works of art produced in the last 400 years. It spans the years from Colonial America to abstract art. Artist featured include naturalist John James Audubon, realist Winslow Homer, and Grant Wood, whose famous “American Gothic” is pictured.
 
1998 33¢ Insects and Spiders: This colorful sheet features 16 insects and four spiders. The species of insects and spiders on the stamps were chosen because of their educational value and interest to children. The species represent the wide range of colors, lifestyles, and behaviors exhibited by these amazing creatures.
 
1999 33¢ The Stars and Stripes: This set of 20 stamps chronicles the development of the American flag from Colonial times to the present. Each flag has an interesting story behind it. For example, the design of the Francis Hopkinson flag was once attributed to Betsy Ross. Historians now believe this often-told tale is untrue. Adopted on June 14, 1777, the birthday of the Hopkinson flag is celebrated each year as Flag Day. This was the first flag to feature both the stars and stripes in its design.
 
2000 33¢ Legends of Baseball: The Legends of Baseball issue honors 20 baseball greats who were named to the "All-Century Team," announced after the 1999 season. Votes from fans, as well as members of a special panel, selected the team.  The stamps include such greats as Jackie Robinson, the black man to play Major League Baseball, home run hitter Babe Ruth, and “The Iron Horse” Lou Gehrig who played 2,130 consecutive games.
 

Legends Of The West Controversy

On October 18, 1994, the USPS issued this corrected Legends of the West stamp sheet after it was discovered they had made an error in their original design.

In January 1994 the Postal Service announced it was creating a set of 20 stamps titled “Legends of the West,” featuring “broadly defined, American-themed subjects.” Sixteen of the 20 stamps honored people associated with the exploration, settlement and development of the American West.

Click any of the images on this page to add these historic stamps to your collection.

One of the people to be featured was black rodeo star Bill Pickett. The remaining four stamps, located at the corners of the sheet, featured conceptual designs: Home on the Range, Native American Culture, Western Wildlife, and Overland Mail.

After the stamps were announced, but not officially issued, a radio reporter phoned Frank Phillips, Jr., great-grandson of Bill Pickett, and asked him about the stamp. This was the first Phillips had heard of the stamp, which was ironic – for the last 14 years Phillips had written to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee suggesting that Bill Pickett should be honored on a stamp. Each year he had been politely turned down.

Pleasantly surprised, Phillips went to his local post office, looked at the design and recognized it as Ben Pickett – Bill’s brother and business associate. The stamp pictured the wrong man! That was the first mistake.

Phillips complained to the Postal Service, and Postmaster General Marvin Runyon issued an order to recall and destroy the error stamps. Runyon also ordered new revised stamps be created – these are the corrected Legends of the West stamps (#2869) pictured first in the article.

But before the recall, 186 error sheets were sold by postal workers – before the official “first day of issue.” This was the second mistake. These error sheets were being resold for sums ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 each!

Several weeks later the U.S. Postal Service announced that 150,000 error sheets would be sold at face value by means of a mail order lottery. This unprecedented move was made with the permission of Frank Phillips, Jr., so the Post Office could recover its printing cost and not lose money. Sales were limited to one per household. The remaining stamps were destroyed.

The Legends of the West error was one of the biggest stamp stories in years. Overshadowed by the error story, the Legends of the West sheet was also the first installment in a series known as the “Classic Collection.” The Classic Collection sheets included the same unique 20-stamp format as the Legends of the West stamps. Other sheets in the series honored the Civil War, Comic Strip Classics, the 1996 Olympics, Classic American Aircraft, American Art, Insects and Spiders, Stars and Stripes, and Legends of Baseball.

 
 
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1994-2000 Classic Sheet Collection
  
This set contains nine sheets from the Classic Collection. Two or three sheets were released each year with the same unique 20-stamp format. Broadly-defined Americana themes, exceptional artwork, a banner printed on the selvage of the sheet, and descriptive text on the back of each stamp make them a favorite with collectors.
 
1994 29¢ Legends of the West: This set pays tribute to 16 individuals and features four topic-oriented stamps as well. Each of the individuals honored played an important part in the amazing history of America.
 
This famous issue contained two mistakes made by the United States Postal Service and led to a string of events without precedent in the history of U.S. stamp collecting.
 
One of the people to be featured on the sheet was black rodeo star Bill Pickett.  After the stamps were announced, but not officially issued, a radio reporter phoned Frank Phillips Jr., great-grandson of Bill Pickett, and asked him about the stamp. Phillips went to his local post office, looked at the design and recognized it as Ben Pickett – Bill’s brother and business associate. The stamp pictured the wrong man! That was the first mistake.
 
Phillips complained to the Postal Service and Postmaster General Marvin Runyon issued an order to recall and destroy the error stamps. Runyon also ordered new revised stamps be created – these are the corrected Legends of the West stamps (#2869).
 
But before the recall, 186 error sheets were sold by postal workers – before the official “first day of issue.” This was the second mistake. These error sheets were being resold for sums ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 each!
 
Several weeks later the U.S. Postal Service announced that 150,000 error sheets would be sold at face value by means of a mail order lottery. This unprecedented move was made with the permission of Frank Phillips Jr. so the Post Office could recover its printing cost and not lose money. Sales were limited to one per household. The remaining stamps were destroyed.
 
1995 32¢ Civil War: The release of the 20 Civil War stamps marked the most extensive effort in the history of the U.S. Postal Service to review and verify the historical accuracy of stamp subjects. Each of the 16 individuals and four battles featured were chosen from a master list of 50 subjects, which included Presidents, generals, major battles, rank-and-file soldiers, women, African and Native Americans, and abolitionists. The goal of the U.S.P.S. was to show the wide variety of people who participated in the Civil War.
 
1995 32¢ Comic Strip Classics: Each of these 20 stamps features a comic strip classic. Daily and weekly newspapers have brought Americans cartoons since 1895. It is reported that 86 million adults and 17 million children in the U.S. read the Sunday comics each week! In fact, comic strips are considered one of America's only indigenous art forms. The comic strip and its characters have popularized words and phrases, such as "I Yam Wot I Yam," from Popeye, and even the foods we eat, like the "Dagwood" sandwich from Blondie. Comics have become movies ("Popeye"), and Broadway Shows ("Annie"). This sheet honors comic strips created within the first 50 years of comics, from 1895 to 1945.
 
1996 32¢ Atlanta 1996: Held in Atlanta, Georgia, the 1996 Olympic Summer Games marked the 100th anniversary of the modern Olympics. More than 11,000 athletes from 197 countries reached for excellence as they took to heart the Olympic motto, "Swifter, Higher, Stronger."
 
1997 32¢ Classic American Aircraft: Planes representing the first fifty years of flight in America are featured on this sheet. Walter Boyne, retired U.S. Air Force pilot and first director of the National Air and Space Museum, compiled the list of 20 planes. Boyne selected the subjects based on factors such as their importance to aviation, public perception, and distinctive appearance.
 
1998 32¢ Four Centuries of American Art: This pane features twenty of the most important and famous works of art produced in the last 400 years. It spans the years from Colonial America to abstract art. Artist featured include naturalist John James Audubon, realist Winslow Homer, and Grant Wood, whose famous “American Gothic” is pictured.
 
1998 33¢ Insects and Spiders: This colorful sheet features 16 insects and four spiders. The species of insects and spiders on the stamps were chosen because of their educational value and interest to children. The species represent the wide range of colors, lifestyles, and behaviors exhibited by these amazing creatures.
 
1999 33¢ The Stars and Stripes: This set of 20 stamps chronicles the development of the American flag from Colonial times to the present. Each flag has an interesting story behind it. For example, the design of the Francis Hopkinson flag was once attributed to Betsy Ross. Historians now believe this often-told tale is untrue. Adopted on June 14, 1777, the birthday of the Hopkinson flag is celebrated each year as Flag Day. This was the first flag to feature both the stars and stripes in its design.
 
2000 33¢ Legends of Baseball: The Legends of Baseball issue honors 20 baseball greats who were named to the "All-Century Team," announced after the 1999 season. Votes from fans, as well as members of a special panel, selected the team.  The stamps include such greats as Jackie Robinson, the black man to play Major League Baseball, home run hitter Babe Ruth, and “The Iron Horse” Lou Gehrig who played 2,130 consecutive games.
 

Legends Of The West Controversy

On October 18, 1994, the USPS issued this corrected Legends of the West stamp sheet after it was discovered they had made an error in their original design.

In January 1994 the Postal Service announced it was creating a set of 20 stamps titled “Legends of the West,” featuring “broadly defined, American-themed subjects.” Sixteen of the 20 stamps honored people associated with the exploration, settlement and development of the American West.

Click any of the images on this page to add these historic stamps to your collection.

One of the people to be featured was black rodeo star Bill Pickett. The remaining four stamps, located at the corners of the sheet, featured conceptual designs: Home on the Range, Native American Culture, Western Wildlife, and Overland Mail.

After the stamps were announced, but not officially issued, a radio reporter phoned Frank Phillips, Jr., great-grandson of Bill Pickett, and asked him about the stamp. This was the first Phillips had heard of the stamp, which was ironic – for the last 14 years Phillips had written to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee suggesting that Bill Pickett should be honored on a stamp. Each year he had been politely turned down.

Pleasantly surprised, Phillips went to his local post office, looked at the design and recognized it as Ben Pickett – Bill’s brother and business associate. The stamp pictured the wrong man! That was the first mistake.

Phillips complained to the Postal Service, and Postmaster General Marvin Runyon issued an order to recall and destroy the error stamps. Runyon also ordered new revised stamps be created – these are the corrected Legends of the West stamps (#2869) pictured first in the article.

But before the recall, 186 error sheets were sold by postal workers – before the official “first day of issue.” This was the second mistake. These error sheets were being resold for sums ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 each!

Several weeks later the U.S. Postal Service announced that 150,000 error sheets would be sold at face value by means of a mail order lottery. This unprecedented move was made with the permission of Frank Phillips, Jr., so the Post Office could recover its printing cost and not lose money. Sales were limited to one per household. The remaining stamps were destroyed.

The Legends of the West error was one of the biggest stamp stories in years. Overshadowed by the error story, the Legends of the West sheet was also the first installment in a series known as the “Classic Collection.” The Classic Collection sheets included the same unique 20-stamp format as the Legends of the West stamps. Other sheets in the series honored the Civil War, Comic Strip Classics, the 1996 Olympics, Classic American Aircraft, American Art, Insects and Spiders, Stars and Stripes, and Legends of Baseball.