This Day in History… September 29, 1967

Accomplishments in Space Issue

U.S. #1331-32 – America’s first twin stamps.

On September 29, 1967, the U.S. Post Office issued its first attached pair of stamps to have a continuous design.

The stamps, officially titled Accomplishments in Space, were issued to honor the 9th anniversary of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The stamps were the first to be designed by renowned space artist Paul Calle.

These stamps are also often known as the “Space Twins,” as they’re the first twin stamps ever issued by the U.S., with one design continuing across both stamps. The stamps picture a space-suited astronaut floating near the Gemini 4 Capsule.

U.S. #1331-32 FDC – Space Achievements Classic First Day Cover.

Launched on June 3, 1965, the objective of Gemini 4 was to assess the effects of prolonged space flight on both the crew and the spacecraft. Two secondary objectives included an attempt to rendezvous with another object orbiting Earth and the first-ever U.S. space walk, or Extravehicular Activity (EVA).

Although his gas-filled, hand-held maneuvering unit ran out of gas after just a few seconds, astronaut Ed White used the gold-covered tether to pull himself around in space. White’s walk was so special, it took the people at NASA several minutes to convince White to get back in the spacecraft.

U.S. #1434-35 – A pair of Space Achievement stamps issued in 1971 that also has an image spanning across two stamps.

Artist Paul Calle used photos of White’s space walk (similar to this one), as the basis for his stamp art. White’s famous spacewalk occurred on June 3, 1965. White and two other astronauts died in early 1967 when the Apollo I space capsule caught fire on the launching pad.

The First Day of Issue ceremony for these stamps was held on September 29, 1967, at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, the launch site of the Gemini 4 mission.

Click here to view some of the other designs Calle created for consideration for these stamps.

Click here to see what else happened on This Day in History.

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