Civil Rights Stamp Series Commemorates Historic Acts of Freedom, Courage, Equality
With this 2013 stamp, the U.S. Postal Service commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Abraham Lincoln signed on Jan. 1, 1863. To commemorate this milestone, the Postal Service introduced a limited-edition Forever Stamp today at The National Archives in Washington, D.C., which houses the historic document.
The Emancipation Proclamation Forever Stamp goes on sale tomorrow at Post Offices nationwide, and can be purchased online at www.usps.com/stamps or by phone at 800-Stamp24 (800-782-6724).
The Emancipation Proclamation Forever Stamp represents freedom and is the first in a series of three Civil Rights stamps to be released in 2013. The remaining stamps in the series, to be issued later this year, mark enduring moments of courage and equality in the civil rights movement by featuring Rosa Parks and the March on Washington.
“Stamps often tap into our culture and help us remember the events and people who have had an impact on American history,” said Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman. “The Emancipation Proclamation was a powerful symbol of President Lincoln’s determination to end the war, to end slavery, and to reconstruct the economy of the country without slave labor.”
The Emancipation Proclamation stamp is the latest stamp to be issued by the Postal Service in tribute to civil rights events or leaders. In 2009, the organization released stamps featuring 12 civil rights pioneers including Mary Church Terrell and Mary White Ovington, and every year it commemorates notable leaders and cultural milestones through other stamp collections such as the Black Heritage series and the American Treasures series.
On August 16, 1963, the Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The stamp was designed by George Olden, who was the first African American to design a U.S. postage stamp.
Following today’s stamp dedication, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, musician, song talker and scholar, performed a dramatic reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. The original document was on display at The National Archives for a limited viewing.
Renowned graphic designer Gail Anderson partnered with art director Antonio Alcalá to design the stamp. It prominently features the phrase, “Henceforward Shall Be Free,” which is taken from the historic document. It also notes Abraham Lincoln’s name and the year the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
Anderson, known for her term as senior art director at Rolling Stone magazine and design of Broadway play posters, revels in making typography from old forms. To evoke the look of posters from the Civil War era, she tapped Hatch Show Print of Nashville, TN, to produce the Emancipation Proclamation stamp. Established in 1879, Hatch is one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America and employs the motto, “preservation through production.”
In 2013, the Postal Service will introduce 30 new stamps to portray American experiences. From landmark history like the Emancipation Proclamation to celebrating budding romance with the Sealed with Love Stamp in time for Valentine’s Day cards and letters, each limited-edition stamp is unique and taps into an American passion.
Customers may view the Emancipation Proclamation Forever Stamp first-day-of-issue event online, as well as a preview of other stamps to be issued in 2013 at www.usps.com/stamps and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USPSStamps, on Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2013-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items post-marked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic Catalog, online at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are 10 philatelic products available for this stamp issue:
- 470361 First-Day Cover 89 cents
- 470365 Digital Color Postmark $1.60
- 470367 Letterpress poster numbered $29.95
- 470377 Letterpress poster signed by artist and numbered $49.95
- 470384 Press Sheet with die cut $90
- 470386 Press Sheet without die cut $90
- 470391 Ceremony Program $6.95
- 470392 Stamp Deck Card 95 cents
- 470394 Stamp Deck Card with Digital Color Postmark $1.95
- 470399 Digital Color Postmark Keepsake will full pane $10.95
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation — 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, Oxford Strategic Consulting ranked the U.S. Postal Service number one in overall service performance of the posts in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.
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