1909 2¢ Lincoln Memorial Issue
Issue Date: February 12, 1909
Quantity issued: 148,387,191
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Method: Flat plate
Watermark: Double line
This is one of three issues created to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. The memorial stamps were the first issued by the U.S. Post Office that commemorated something other than a current event.
In addition to 1909 being Lincoln’s 100th birth anniversary, the commemorative stamps may have also been issued because of public opinion. When the regular issue was changed in 1908 to stamps picturing Washington and Franklin exclusively, some protested. Lincoln’s likeness had appeared on at least one denomination since 1866, and many felt the martyred President deserved to be included in each new issue.
Born in the backwoods of Hardin County, Kentucky, Lincoln was largely self-educated. He served as our 16th President during the Civil War. He had long believed that peace should come with “malice toward none, with charity for all.” Unfortunately, Lincoln was forced to witness a Civil War between the North and the South. After the war, Lincoln was anxious to heal the wounds – to repair damage done to both the people and the land. His work would go unfinished, as he was felled by an assassin’s bullet while watching a play at Ford’s Theatre in 1865.
An imperforate stamp featuring this same design – U.S. #368 – was also issued, as well as a perforate Lincoln Memorial issue on experimental bluish-gray paper.