1938 3¢ Thomas Jefferson
Booklet Pane of 6
Issue Date: June 16, 1938
First City: Washington, DC
Printing Method: Rotary press
Perforations: 11 x 10 ½
Color: Deep violet
Known affectionately as the “Prexies,” the 1938 Presidential series is a favorite among stamp collectors.
The series was issued in response to public clamoring for a new Regular Issue series. The series that was current at the time had been in use for more than a decade. President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed, and a contest was staged. The public was asked to submit original designs for a new series picturing all deceased U.S. Presidents. Over 1,100 sketches were submitted, many from veteran stamp collectors. Elaine Rawlinson, who had little knowledge of stamps, won the contest and collected the $500 prize. Rawlinson was the first stamp designer since the Bureau of Engraving and Printing began producing U.S. stamps who was not a government employee.
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and one of the most influential members of the Founding Fathers. Jefferson consistently advocated one of our nation’s most cherished principles. He championed the idea that humans are born with natural rights rather than those bestowed upon them by a government, and that governments govern only by the consent of the people.
A gifted intellect and political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment who embraced the age of science and reason. Jefferson served as America’s first Secretary of State and its second Vice-President before defeating John Adams in the 1800 presidential election.
After coming to office in the “Revolution of 1800,” Jefferson served two terms as the third U.S. President. His administration is credited with nearly doubling the size of the United States. Although he was not known for his public speaking abilities, modern historians regard Jefferson to be one of the most intelligent and accomplished of all U.S. Presidents.