Distinguished Americans

Introduced in 2000, this stamp series honors U.S. citizens who have “left their mark on the American conscience.”

US #3420 Joseph W. Stilwell

US #3420
Joseph W. Stilwell

Honored on the first Distinguished Americans series stamp is General Joseph W. Stilwell (1883-1946). A 1904 graduate of the United States Military Academy, Stilwell was sent to Burma in 1942 to assist Chinese and British troops who were defending Burma against Japanese aggression. He commanded all American forces in the China-Burma-India theater of operations during World War II. Stilwell, whose outspoken nature earned him the nickname “Vinegar Joe,” served as Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s chief of staff and was the first American general to command a Chinese army. Continue reading

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American Scenes

According to the USPS, the American Scenes series is a “colorful renderings of mountains, buttes, wetlands, and seascapes, set apart for nonprofit mail use.”

US #2902 Butte

US #2902

This five-cent stamp was issued for use on bulk rate (third class) non-profit mail. It depicts a colorful butte scene and is the first entry in the new “American Scenes” series. The stamp was issued to supplement supplies of the 5¢ Canoe and 5¢ Old Glory non-profit coil stamps and to offer customers more design variety. In 1996, a self-adhesive version was produced to meet consumer demand. Continue reading

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Nature of America

This series – which ended in 2010 – captures the unique beauty of America.  Each sheet is an artistic masterpiece revealing nature’s majesty in a different geographic region of the U.S.   Every semi-jumbo stamp has at least one identifiable plant or animal that is native to the environment being showcased.  The stamps are laid out in a staggered fashion, corresponding to the sheet’s design.  This special format makes the Nature of America Series an attractive addition to your U.S. collection.

US #3293 Sonoran Desert

US #3293
Sonoran Desert

Despite its harshness, life thrives in the Sonoran Desert. Cactus trees, paloverdes, desert tortoises, Gila monsters, and roadrunners are among the hundreds of plant and animal species that make their home there. Continue reading

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Priority and Express Mail

Priority Mail offers fast domestic package delivery – usually 1-3 days.  Express Mail is the fastest service, with guaranteed next day delivery to most destinations.

US #1909 1983 Express Mail

US #1909
1983 Express Mail

Originally, this stamp was issued for the USPS Express Mail Next Day service for packages up to two pounds. It became the costliest postage stamp in U.S. history, however, when it was declared valid for all other mail services as well.  The design, featuring a magnificent eagle, was taken from a television advertisement promoting this special service. The moon in the background was from a photo taken by NASA in 1972.

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American Poets Series

Among the lesser known of all U.S. stamp series, the American Poets issues commemorate these masters.

US #1405 Edgar Lee Masters

US #1405
Edgar Lee Masters

Masters was born in Garnett, Kansas. He wrote novels, poetry, plays, biography, and history. Masters is chiefly remembered for his “Spoon River Anthology,” a collection of 200 poems in free verse.  Spoon River is an imaginary Midwestern village, and each poem of the anthology is “spoken” by a deceased former resident of the town, providing a revealing look at the secret lives of small-town America. Each of the dead speakers attempts to illuminate the meaning of life on Earth.

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Classic Collections

In 1994, the USPS introduced the Classic Collections series.  Each sheet in the series features 20 face-different designs.  Broadly-defined Americana themes, exceptional artwork, a banner printed on the selvage of the sheet, and descriptive text on the back of each stamp made them a favorite with collectors.

The series received a lot of publicity with the very first release, which contained an error and led to a prolonged court fight and a modern stamp rarity!

US #2869 Legends of the West

US #2869
1994 Legends of the West

Stories about America’s West have long been among the most popular pieces of American folklore. This set pays tribute to 16 individuals and features four topic-oriented stamps as well. Each of the individuals honored played an important part in the amazing history of America.  (Click on the stamp sheet to learn more about the error and the court battle.) Continue reading

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