In 1925, the U.S. celebrated the 150th anniversary of its independence with a stamp series known as the American Revolution Sesquicentennial.
Washington at Cambridge
U.S. #617 pictures General George Washington leading colonial forces at Cambridge Common on July 2, 1775. This was two-and-a-half months after the battles at Lexington and Concord. A driving factor for this scene’s inclusion in the set was due to the famed “Washington Elm.” According to legend, Washington stood under the elm tree as he took command of the Continental Army. Over the years, the tree was badly damaged and was accidentally knocked over during repair attempts in 1923. Continue reading
This series features five stamps – one for each year of the Civil War – to commemorate its 100th anniversary.
When South Carolina seceded from the Union in 1860, plans were made quickly to seize the U.S. forts in the Harbor at Charleston, S.C. – Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter. The forts were under the command of Major Robert Anderson. Anderson had established his command at Fort Moultrie, but moved to Fort Sumter for its superior defenses.
The American Folk Art series ran from 1977 to 1995. Folk Art is loosely defined as the art of the everyday, rooted in traditions that come from community and culture and expressing cultural identity by conveying shared community values and aesthetics.
This set of four stamps commemorates the pottery skills of the Pueblo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico. This particular art form is still practiced, but the pieces shown in these stamp designs were produced sometime between 1880 and 1920. Continue reading
Over the course of its two year existence – 1973 to 1975 – seven stamps were added to the American Arts series.
George Gershwin rose to fame on Broadway during the 1920s with musical comedies including Lady, Be Good; Tip-Toes; Oh, Kay!; Funny Face; and Girl Crazy. In Strike Up the Band, Of Thee I Sing, and Let ‘Em Eat Cake, Gershwin turned to political satire. Let ‘Em Eat Cake was the first musical comedy to win a Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote successful concert music, including Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F. In 1935, Gershwin moved to Hollywood, California, and turned his attention to films. He wrote Shall We Dance for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and A Damsel in Distress for Astaire, Joan Fontaine, and Gracie Allen. Gershwin is also the musician who created the brilliant musical “Porgy and Bess” and composed the much-performed “Rhapsody in Blue.”
A new stamp series was unveiled in 1932, designed as a “spotlight on the sports, athletes, and host cities that carry the torch for global unity.” Olympic Games stamps quickly became collector favorites.
Third Winter Games
The 1932 2¢ Winter Olympic Games stamp is the first U.S. stamp issued to commemorate the international competition. Voters chose U.S. #716 as on of the 100 Greatest American Stamps.
1932 marked the third time the Winter Games were held, and the first time the event was held in the U.S. The games were held in Lake Placid, a small town in upstate New York that was home to less than 3,000 year round residents.
The Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce asked the village postmaster to suggest a commemorative stamp for the event. A New York congressman helped persuade reluctant officials, and the stamp was approved. Continue reading
Year of the Rooster
For the first time ever, the Postal Service issued a special stamp for the New Year in 1992. Printed in a new and experimental format; panes of 20 that are four-stamps-wide and five-stamps-deep, the stamp depicts a stylized rooster, referring to the Chinese year which began on January 23, 1993.
Based on Chinese paper cut-outs, the rooster stamp was popular. In fact, the post office servicing San Francisco’s Chinatown sold nearly two million stamps in the month of January alone. In 1994 the series continued with the issue of this stamp commemorating the upcoming New Year, the Year of the Dog. Continue reading