1934 5¢ Yellowstone
National Parks Issue
Issue Date: July 30, 1934
First City: Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 30,980,100
As a stamp collector, President Franklin D. Roosevelt personally oversaw the selection of stamp subjects and designs during his administration. As Roosevelt was reviewing suggestions for the 1934 schedule, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes saw an opportunity to advertise the national park system. Ickes felt many Americans were unaware the federal government had set aside vast amounts of land for their enjoyment and for future generations. At his suggestion, 1934 had been declared National Parks Year. Ickes now proposed the legacy of the national parks be portrayed on postage stamps to give people a glimpse of their diversity and natural beauty. FDR approved the idea immediately, and ten parks were chosen, each to be pictured on a different denomination ranging from 1¢ to 10¢.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park has the proud distinction of being the oldest national park in the world. The vast majority of Yellowstone lies in Wyoming, although it stretches into Idaho and Montana. This gigantic park covers 2,200,000 acres, which include deep canyons, majestic waterfalls, pristine lakes, dense forests, and vast meadows. The park has more geysers and hot springs than any other area in the world. These include Old Faithful, which sends a 100-foot stream of boiling water into the air about every 73 minutes. Yellowstone also has the distinction of being the largest wildlife preserve in the United States. Bears, bison (buffalo), elk, bald eagles, trumpeter swans, moose, cougars, and white pelicans are among the many animals that enjoy the park’s pristine environment.
Yellowstone’s landscape was formed by a series of ancient volcanic eruptions. More recently, glaciers covered the area – the last ones melted about 10,000 years ago. The U.S. government obtained the area in 1803, as part of the Louisiana Purchase. A member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, John Colter, was probably the first white person to see the area. In 1872, Congress established this first national park, to protect its unusual features and resources. The National Park Service was created in 1916, in part, to manage Yellowstone.