This stamp was issued to arouse support for the National Recovery Act, one of Franklin Roosevelt's first acts after he became President. It was a direct result of the general business decline in the United States beginning in 1929. The act provided for the expenditure of great sums of public money to carry out a recovery program. It was eventually declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Roosevelt personally requested the stamp, which he emphasized must be "issued at once to be most effective." The stamp was produced and placed on sale in just 13 working days. Look closely at the vignette and you'll notice four people walking side by side – a farmer, Roosevelt, a laborer and a female student. Roosevelt was pleased with the stamp, which he called "grand." However, the sharp-eyed stamp collector also noticed the size of the student's foot. Roosevelt declared, "But oh, heavens what a girl! She is wearing a No. 11 shoe, also a bustle, and if recovery is dependent on women like that I am agin recovery."
Author Brian C. Baur notes the public was divided on the stamp design. Some remarked on the way the farmer carried his scythe on his left shoulder, which is rarely done by real farmers. Others noticed the characters were walking in step except the businessman, which they interpreted as meaning he wasn't looking ahead to recovery as the others were. And some pointed out that while four people were portrayed, they only shared 7 legs between them.