30¢ Theodore Roosevelt
1938 Presidential Series
Issue Date: December 8, 1938
City: Washington, DC
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary press
Perforations: 11 x 10 ½
Color: Deep ultramarine
Known affectionately as the “Prexies,” the 1938 Presidential series is a favorite among stamp collectors. The 30¢ denomination pictures Theodore Roosevelt.
The youngest man ever to become President was also one of the most popular and most successful Presidents as well. Theodore Roosevelt fought for reforms to benefit the people and became known as the "Trust Buster" when he limited the power of business corporations. He also strengthened the Navy, began construction of the Panama Canal, and helped bring an end to the Russo-Japanese War. He was the first American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
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 that was not a government employee.