The Performing Arts Series began in 1978 with the issuance of two commemorative stamps. The Jimmy Rodgers stamp was released on May 24 and the George Cohen stamp on July 3. Although they were issued only a few weeks apart, a rate increase on May 29, 1978, resulted in a 13-cent Jimmy Rodgers stamps and a 15-cent George Cohen stamp. The Performing Arts Series was designed by Jim Sharp (except the John McCormack stamp, which was designed by Sharp and Ron Mercer.)
Country music legend Jimmie Rodgers is honored with this issue. Called the “Father of Country Music,” Rodgers was the first person ever inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. First Day ceremonies for this stamp were held during the annual Jimmie Rodgers Festival, in Rodgers’ hometown of Meridian, Mississippi. Continue reading
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.
The Army-Navy War Heroes series honors the brave men who led our armed forces and made the U.S. a world superpower.
Sherman, Grant & Sheridan
As a stamp collector, President Franklin D. Roosevelt personally oversaw the selection of stamp subjects and designs during his administration. As Roosevelt was reviewing suggestions for the 1934 schedule, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes saw an opportunity to advertise the national park system. Ickes felt many Americans were unaware the federal government had set aside vast amounts of land for their enjoyment and for future generations. At his suggestion, 1934 had been declared National Parks Year. Ickes now proposed the legacy of the national parks be portrayed on postage stamps to give people a glimpse of their diversity and natural beauty. FDR approved the idea immediately, and ten parks were chosen, each to be pictured on a different denomination ranging from 1¢ to 10¢. Continue reading
In 1932, a set of twelve stamps were issued to commemorate the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. Each classically engraved stamp is based on a different historic portrait of George Washington by renowned artists.
These stamps were issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first incandescent electric light, invented by Thomas Edison. Because of the Post Office policy never to portray a living person on a United States stamp, Edison’s picture could not be shown on the stamps that honored him.
Flat Plate Printing
Rotary Press Printing
Rotary Press Coil
U.S. #656 was the third stamp issued with this design, produced for use in vending machines. This was the first time a commemorative stamp was issued in coil format.