1938 Presidential Series
Issue Date: August 29, 1938
City: Washington, DC
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Flat plate
Color: Purple and black
Known affectionately as the “Prexies,” the 1938 Presidential series is a favorite among stamp collectors. The $1 denomination pictures Woodrow Wilson.
Although well known for serving as president of Princeton University and governor of New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson gained worldwide recognition as our 28th President. After successfully guiding the U.S. through World War I, he led the peace conference in Paris that resulted in the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty, which was based on Wilson's famous "Fourteen Points" speech, brought a peaceful end to the war. Throughout Europe, crowds cheered him as the champion of peace and democracy.
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.