2018 50¢ O Beautiful
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce First-Class Letter Rate (Forever)
Issue Date: July 4, 2018
First Day City: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 60,000,000
America is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world. From glistening coastlines and rugged mountaintops to rolling hills and great plains, America’s beauty has inspired countless artists over the years.
One of these artists was Katharine Lee Bates, a 33-year-old English professor from Wellesley College. In 1893, Bates took a summer position at Colorado College and saw a fair amount of the country on her journey. She was inspired by the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the wheat fields of the Great Plains, and, most of all, Pikes Peak. It was atop this great mountain she was inspired to write a poem about the unrivaled beauty of her country. The poem was published two years later and it was set to music not long after.
Bates’s poem evolved into the patriotic hymn “America the Beautiful” with its immortal first verse:
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
The song has become like a second national anthem to the United States and is known by nearly every man, woman, and child to this day.