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#618 – 1925 2c "Birth of Liberty"

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U.S. #618
1925 Lexington-Concord Issue
2¢ Birth of Liberty

First Day of Issue:
April 4, 1925
First City: Washington, D.C.; Concord, MA; Concord Junction, MA; Boston, MA; Cambridge, MA; Lexington, MA
Quantity Issued: 26,596,000
Printing Method: Flat Plate
Perforation: 11
Color: Carmine Rose
 
The Lexington-Concord Issue of 1925 was the first set of U.S. postage stamps to honor the War of Independence. These stamps commemorate the patriots who gave their lives – and the ideals of freedom and independence they died for.
 
Colonists Take a Stand
The image for this stamp was based on Henry Sandham’s 1885 painting, “The Dawn of Liberty.” Painted more than 100 years after the actual revolutionary war battle, it pictures an idealized version of the event, rather than an accurate account. In reality, the two officers pictured – Major John Pitcairn on the far right and Captain Jonas Parker in the foreground with his arm raised – focused on preventing their men from firing, rather than encouraging them to shoot. Some historians question whether any of the Lexington men fired at all, as only one British soldier was wounded while 10 Lexington men were killed and eight wounded. 
 
The scene on this stamp serves as a symbol of the Colonists taking a stand for their rights and beginning the war for their independence.
 
The Battles of Lexington and Concord
The battles that took place at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, were the first military encounters between Great Britain and the 13 colonies of British North America. 
 
One reason for the battles was the secret order given to British Army forces to find and destroy military supplies held by the Massachusetts militia at Concord. Colonial Patriots received word of the impending theft and moved most of their supplies. 
 
The first shots of the battle rang through the air as the sun rose over Lexington. The Colonial militia was outnumbered by more than 300 and fell back. In the meantime, the British forces moved on to Concord to search for supplies. As the British reached Concord’s North Bridge, about 500 militiamen met them. This time the British were outnumbered and defeated, then forced to retreat.   In all, 49 Patriot lives were lost versus 73 British.