The Norse-American issue honors two important events in the history of Norwegian Americans – the arrival of Leif Ericson and the first Norwegian immigrants in America.
The Norse-American Stamps
These were among the handful of stamps produced since the 1901 Pan-Americans to feature bi-color printing, a costly and time-consuming process. Because the stamps took so long to print, they were produced in much smaller quantities than other stamps of the day. Producing large quantities of the stamps was difficult too, because they were printed in sheets of 100, rather than 400, like most stamps at that time.
When the stamps were released, they were in great demand, with post offices around the country receiving several calls for them daily. A second printing was suggested, but was far too costly. It has been estimated that less than 300 post offices received the stamps, with some only getting one or two sheets each, making them even more difficult to find today.
The Lexington-Concord Issue of 1925 was the first set of U.S. postage stamps to honor the War of Independence. These stamps honor the patriots who gave their lives – and the ideals of freedom and independence they died for.
Washington at Cambridge
Birth of Liberty
The Minute Man
This series of stamps commemorates the role of Protestant immigrants in settling America in honor of the 300th anniversary of the first successful colony. The Huguenots were French Protestants who, in the 16th century, established the first Presbyterian Church in France. After having their rights stripped by French King Louis XIV and Cardinal Richilieu, the Huguenots fled to other countries – and eventually, America. The first settlements were as early as 1562 and 1564, but they soon failed. The Walloons were Dutch Protestants who suffered similar oppression. A 1624 expedition funded by the Dutch West India Company was much more successful, establishing a settlement at Fort Orange (now present-day Albany, New York).
Dispatched by the Dutch West India Company, about 30 Walloon families sailed from Amsterdam to colonize the New World. This issue pictures their ship the Nieu Nederland.
The Walloons settled along the Hudson River, and U.S. #615 shows the landing at Fort Orange (Albany). The stamp marks the 300th anniversary of Walloon immigration, but also salutes the Huguenots who followed the Walloons in settling New England.
The monument on this stamp is located in Mayport, Florida, and marks another area where the Huguenots settled. The monument on U.S. #616 is called the “Jean Ribaut Monument.” Ribaut had helped organize early Huguenot settlements, but the colony settled in 1564 near Mayport, Florida, was too close to Spanish shipping lanes. The settlers were wiped out by the Spanish in 1565.
U.S. #610 was a special stamp that was to be issued for a limited time of about 60 to 90 days in memory of Warren Harding, the 29th President of the United States. Harding had collapsed and died while in office. Of the 200,000 copies sent to Marion, Ohio (Harding’s hometown), 180,000 were sold the first day of issue.
US #610 Perf 11 Flat Plate Printing
Imperforate Flat Plate Printing
Demand for this stamp was far greater than for any previous special issue. It was impossible to meet the demand by printing from flat plates alone. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing was finally authorized to supplement that printing with a rotary press version. This was the first commemorative or memorial stamp issued using two printing methods. Eventually, over one billion stamps were issued, stretching the original 60-day limit to nearly 6 full months.