1935 5¢ Yellowstone
National Parks Issue
Special Printing of 1935
Issue Date: March 15, 1935
First City: Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 1,724,576
1935 Special Printings and “Farley’s Follies”
In 1935, twenty stamps were reissued. These stamps are Scott #752-71. As a group, these stamps are known as “Farley Special Printings,” and were the result of the biggest stamp scandal of all time – “Farley’s Follies.”
This story begins with the issue of the 1933 Newburgh Peace commemorative, Scott #727. U.S. Postmaster General James A. Farley removed several first-run sheets of #727 from the printing presses before they were gummed or perforated, and autographed them. He gave these stamps to President Franklin Roosevelt, Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, the President’s secretary Louis Howe, various Post Office Department officials, and each of his children. Farley continued this practice with other new stamp issues.
These ungummed and imperforate stamps were not available to the public – Farley was creating precious philatelic rarities and distributing them to his boss and friends!
Needless to say, the philatelic community was outraged. However, when a New York City stamp dealer declared he had a sheet of 200 ungummed, imperforate Mother’s Day stamps signed by the Postmaster General for sale, and that he had insured them for $20,000.00, the general public was upset as well. It was estimated that 160 of Farley’s special sheets had been distributed... at $20,000.00 a sheet that meant a total value of $3,200,000.00!
A recall was suggested, but deemed impossible. Finally, the Post Office came up with a solution – the reissue in sheet form of all the stamps issued since March 4, 1933, in ungummed condition, all but the first two imperforate and in sufficient numbers to satisfy public demand!
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.