2011 Complete U.S. Commemorative Collection
The 2011 stamp program marked the first year all U.S. commemorative stamps were “Forever” stamps. Significant events and people were honored and many popular series continued.
The year began with the fourth stamp in the Celebrating Lunar New Year Series – the Year of the Rabbit. The design included kumquats, an Asian symbol of good luck.
The 17th Legends of Hollywood Series stamp was issued, paying tribute to actor Gregory Peck. He’s pictured in his Oscar-winning role as Atticus Finch. Helen Hayes, an award-winning actress who starred on stage and in films, radio, and television, was also honored with a stamp.
Art and Literature were represented on a number of stamps. Edward Hopper’s painting The Long Leg was pictured on the tenth stamp of the American Treasures Series. Four collages by Romare Bearden were also featured on stamps. Mark Twain became the 27th author included in the Literary Arts Series. Musical arts were commemorated with Latin Music Legends and Jazz stamps.
Important American statesmen and women were showcased. A stamp in memory of former President Ronald Reagan was issued on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan became the 34th person honored in the Black Heritage Series.
The Kansas stamp marked the 150th anniversary of statehood. A new series commemorated 150 years since the Civil War began. Two stamps were issued picturing the Battles at Fort Sumter and the First Bull Run.
Many fields of science were highlighted this year. Fifty years of space flight were commemorated with the Mercury Project/MESSENGER Mission se-tenant pair. The third set of stamps in the American Scientists Series featured four award-winning scientists. The Pioneers of American Industrial Design showcased the work of twelve designers who reshaped ordinary objects into useful pieces of art.
Wedding Roses, Wedding Cake and Garden of Love stamps were issued in time for the summer wedding season. A Neon Celebrate! stamp suitable for any celebration was also released.
The Go Green stamp sheet raised awareness of small steps that conserve resources, such as turning off lights, planting trees, and riding a bike.
Owney the postal dog was featured on a stamp this year. He traveled the country on the Railway Mail Service trains. In the early days of transoceanic mail service, the U.S. Merchant Marine carried letters across the seas.
Some of the Postal Service’s most popular stamps are the holiday issues. The Muslim feast of Eid is celebrated at the end of Ramadan. The traditional Christmas stamp featured a detail from a painting by Italian artist Raphael entitled Madonna of the Candelabra. The Contemporary Christmas stamp pictured four Holiday Baubles reminiscent of 1950s tree ornaments. A dreidel, the spinning top used during Hanukkah, was incorporated in the stamp image commemorating that holiday. The African-American celebration of Kwanzaa is honored on a stamp, as well.