1994 29¢ Annie Oakley
Legends of the West
Issue Date: October 18, 1994
City: Laramie, WY, Tucson, AZ and Lawton, OK
Quantity: 19,282,800 panes
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 10.1 x 10
Learning to shoot at an early age, Annie Oakley showed remarkable skill with guns and would often shoot and sell wild game to local restaurants to help support her impoverished family. When an admirer suggested she compete against professional marksman Frank Butler in a shooting exhibition, 15-year-old Annie reluctantly agreed. To the cheers of the amazed crowd she defeated Butler on the last shot, 25 to 24. They were married in 1876. Taking the stage name Oakley, she toured with vaudeville shows and circuses.
In 1885 Oakley joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. So enthusiastic was the response to her daring feats, she was given top billing as “Miss Annie Oakley – the Peerless Lady Wingshot,” while her husband served as her assistant. As part of her act she would shoot a dime held in Butler’s hand, use a mirror to shoot at a target behind her, shoot a playing card thrown in the air 90 feet away from her, and fire shots while riding a bicycle. While performing in Berlin, she obliged Crown Prince Wilhelm by shooting a cigarette held in his mouth.
The popular Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun, was loosely based on Oakley’s life. Although the musical portrays her as an outspoken tomboy, she was actually a quiet person who did needlepoint in her spare time.