1938 Presidential Series
Issue Date: November 10, 1938
City: Washington, DC
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary press
Perforations: 11 x 10 ½
Color: Bright violet
Known affectionately as the “Prexies,” the 1938 Presidential series is a favorite among stamp collectors. The 19¢ denomination pictures Rutherford Hayes. One of Hayes' acts as President was to withdraw the remaining federal troops from the South. When his term ended in 1881, he completely withdrew from politics and devoted himself to work in education, prison reform, and veteran's affairs.
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.