Series of 1922-25 11¢ Hayes
Flat Plate Printing
Issue Date: October 4, 1922
First City: Fremont, OH and Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 298,510,877
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Flat plate
Perforation: 11 gauge
Rutherford B. Hayes, shown on U.S. #563, was the 19th U.S. President. This was the first stamp issued in honor of Hayes. It also is regarded as the first “First Day of Issue” ceremony. The stamp was issued on October 4th, 1922 – the 100th anniversary of Hayes’ birth. It was also issued in Fremont, Ohio, where Hayes was born.
To meet that schedule, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing had to rush to print the stamp. The die wasn’t finished until September 28, and the stamps went to press on September 30, the same day the first plate was approved. A limited number of stamps were in the first printing – less than a quarter of a million. A ceremony was held in Fremont in which the “first sheet” was sold to Scott Hayes, the son of the former President.
The Series of 1922-25
and the Wheels of Progress
In 1847, when the printing presses first began to move, they didn’t roll – they “stamped” in a process known as flat plate printing. The Regular Series of 1922 was the last to be printed by flat plate press, after which stamps were produced by rotary press printing.
By 1926, all denominations up to 10¢ – except the new ½¢ – were printed by rotary press. For a while, $1 to $5 issues were done on flat plate press due to smaller demand.
In 1922, the Post Office Department announced its decision to issue a new series of stamps to replace the Washington-Franklin series, which had been in use since 1908. Many criticized the change, believing it was being made to satisfy collectors rather than to fill an actual need. However, the similar designs and colors of the current stamps caused confusion, resulting in a substantial loss in revenue each year. In busy situations, postal clerks could not tell at a glance if the correct postage was being used.
Postal employees requested a variety of designs which could easily be distinguished from one another. Great care was taken to make sure the new designs could not be confused. Although the frames are similar, the vignettes (central designs) are distinctive. Prominent Americans, as well as scenes of national interest, were chosen as subjects for the new series.
In addition to issuing new designs, the Department developed a plan to first distribute a small number of each stamp on a particular date in a selected town which was of historical and geographical significance to the subject. The plan greatly increased interest and began a new trend of collecting stamps on covers or envelopes postmarked on the first day of issue.
First White House Easter Egg Roll
On April 22, 1878, the White House hosted its first official Easter Egg Roll on Easter Monday.
Reportedly, Dolley Madison may have been one of the first to suggest holding a public egg roll at the White House. And there are stories describing informal egg-rolling parties at the White House during Abraham Lincoln’s administration.
In the 1870s, people began celebrating Easter Monday on the west ground of the US Capitol. During these celebrations, young children rolled dyed eggs down the terraced lawn. However, by 1876, some grew worried about the toll this was taking on the landscape, so Congress passed legislation that limited public use of the Capitol grounds, bringing an end to the egg rolling.
In 1877, it rained on Easter Monday, so no egg rolling festivities were planned. Then, the following year on April 22, 1878, a group of children approached the White House gate and asked if they could play their egg-rolling games there. President Rutherford B. Hayes told the guards to allow the children to come in and play. Usually, the first family used the South Lawn for their private Easter activities, but President Hayes gladly invited the children to join them. This marked the start of the Easter egg roll tradition at the White House.
In 1885, the children at the White House for the egg rolling went to the East Room, hoping to meet with President Grover Cleveland. He was delighted to meet them, starting another new tradition. Four years later, President Benjamin Harrison invited the US Marine Band to play while the children enjoyed the festivities. Band director John Philip Sousa later said he enjoyed playing lively marches for the White House guests.
In 1917, the egg roll was moved to the Washington Monument. And in 1918, the District of Columbia food administrator said that “nothing that is an article of diet should be destroyed.” At the time, the US was practicing wartime food restrictions, so the destruction of eggs was prohibited and the egg roll was canceled.
In 1921, the egg roll was hosted at the White House for the first time since 1916. Nearly 60,000 children attended and were treated to a visit from the cast of the children’s play “Alice and the White Rabbit.” In 1929, the egg roll was broadcast on the radio for the first time. That year also included a maypole dance by the girl scouts.
During and after World War II, the egg roll was again canceled at the White House due to wartime restrictions. After that, the Trumans were renovating the White House and the South Lawn was a construction zone, so the egg roll wasn’t held again until 1953.
Two new traditions started during the Nixon administration. In 1969, they first had a White House Easter Bunny, and in 1974, they held the first egg roll races. In 1981, the Reagans staged an egg hunt with wooden eggs signed by famous people.
The White House Egg Roll continues today, with additional activities for children including crafts and storybook time.
Click here for more Easter stamps.