USPS Homepage Skip Navigation Home
Stamp News
The 2005 Commemorative Stamp Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Community Relations 202-268-4924
www.usps.com
December 2, 2004
Stamp News Release Number 04-076
(Click here for printable PDF version of this release.)

2005 COMMEMORATIVE STAMPS APPEAL TO DIVERSE
AUDIENCES AND WALLETS AT JUST 37 CENTS

WASHINGTON - Henry Fonda, distinguished Marines, America's civil rights movement, Kermit the Frog, Marian Anderson, sporty cars and Mickey Mouse are but a sampling of people, subjects and events that will be commemorated on postage stamps next year as postage continues at 37 cents throughout 2005, the U.S. Postal Service announced today.

"U.S. commemorative stamps portray individuals, subjects and events that are instrumental to the American experience," said David Failor, Executive Director of Stamp Services for the Postal Service, "and they'll continue to be a world-class bargain."

The 2005 program begins in early January with the issuance of the Lunar New Year Souvenir stamp sheet, which celebrates all 12 animals associated with the Chinese New Year.

The achievements of operatic and concert star Marian Anderson, who played an important role in black America's struggle for racial equality, will be commemorated on a stamp in February, along with a stamp honoring President Ronald Reagan and the newest stamp in the Love series, the Love Bouquet.

Fans of Kermit the frog will turn green with envy come March, when Jim Henson and the Muppets appear on a pane of 11 stamps. Post Offices in March are also expected to blossom with four colorful Spring Flowers stamps-an iris, a hyacinth, a tulip and a daffodil.

April's "stampcast" calls for continued growth of the Nature of America series with the Northeast Deciduous Forest stamps that promotes appreciation of U.S. plant and animal communities. The thickly wooded idealized forest scene depicts 27 species. A species list, keyed to a line drawing of the stamp art, appears on the reverse side of the pane.

Four American scientists-geneticist Barbara McClintock, mathematician John von Neumann, physicist Richard Feynman and thermodynamicist Josiah Willard Gibbs-also make the April stamp lineup, as does poet, novelist, educator and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Penn Warren. Mesmerized Wizard of Oz movie fans are expected to click their heels and hypnotically say "There's nothing like his stamp.... There's nothing like his stamp...." when songwriter Yip Harburg, who wrote the lyrics to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," is celebrated.

The Postal Service commemorates film star Henry Fonda on what would have been his 100th birthday when he joins The Legends of Hollywood series on a stamp in mid-May.

Distinguished Marines John Basilone, Daniel J. Daly, John A. Lejeune and Lewis B. Puller appear on stamps in June as the Postal Service continues to honor the tradition of excellence in military service.

Twelve outstanding examples of modern buildings also will be recognized in June when the Masterworks of Modern Architecture stamps are issued.

Next summer's stamp buzz continues when 10 airplanes from the 1930s, '40s and '50s begin flying through the nation's mail stream as part of the American Advances in Aviation stamps.

Stamp collectors won't have to do the "Hustle," but they'll need to move fast to get the Let's Dance / Bailemos (Let Us Dance) stamps of dancers moving to the rhythms of the cha-cha-cha, the mambo, the merengue and the salsa to celebrate Latino pop and tropical salsa traditions in July. The art of celebration, as portrayed by Walt Disney and his studio animators will turn Post Offices into Mickey Mouse operations with the addition of four festive new stamps.

In August, humanitarian and world-class tennis star Arthur Ashe will be honored on a postage stamp, and the American Treasures series will continue with the issuance of four Rio Grande Blanket stamps. The ten stamps on the "To Form A More Perfect Union" pane will recognize events that called on courage and achievements of the men and women who struggled to support the civil rights movement.

In late summer or early fall, five Sporty Cars stamps rev up to reveal America's post-World War II innovations in car design with the 1952 Nash Healey, a 1953 Chevrolet Corvette, a 1953 Studebaker Starliner, a 1954 Kaiser Darrin and a 1955 Ford Thunderbird. Some of the stamps were modeled after actual classic cars still being driven today.

The U.S. Postal Service joins Sweden Post in a joint stamp issuance Sept. 23 to commemorate legendary film actress Greta Garbo.

October, as National Stamp Collecting Month, rises to the heavens when starry patterns in the night sky adorn a block of four Constellations stamps. The Postal Service will continue to draw attention to important social awareness issues through a stamp promoting children's health.

And finally, keeping in mind that it's never too early to get ready for next year's holidays, customers will be able to mail early and often once the four Holiday Cookies stamps are issued in late October 2005. As with today's stamps, the self-adhesive stamps fit everyone's diet and wallet-they're fat- and sugar-free and are still a world-class bargain at just 37-cents.

2005 U.S. Commemorative Stamp Program
All images and first-day-of-issue information are subject to change.
( ) denotes number of stamps
CLICK THE STAMP IMAGE TO ENLARGE


Lunar New Year Souvenir Sheet (12)

The Lunar New Year is celebrated by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Mongolian heritage. In observance of this holiday, the U.S. Postal Service issued the first of twelve stamps in its award-winning Lunar New Year series in 1992. In succeeding years, additional stamps were issued until all twelve animals associated with the Chinese lunar calendar were represented.

Also called the Spring Festival, the traditional Chinese New Year is a time of renewed hope for a prosperous future. The twelve colorful stamps in this series are gathered together for one stunning souvenir sheet.

Stamp designer Clarence Lee, of Honolulu, HI, created intricate paper-cut designs for all of the twelve animals associated with the Chinese lunar calendar. The calligraphic characters used for this souvenir sheet were drawn by Lau Bun, also of Honolulu. The characters in the individual stamps identify the Year of the Dog, Rat, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, and Monkey. The characters on the selvage to the left of the souvenir sheet may be translated as "Happy New Year!" The same greeting appears in English at the top of the sheet.
Lunar New Year Souvenir Sheet
Marian Anderson (1)

With this 28th stamp in the Black Heritage series, Philadelphia native Marian Anderson, one of the greatest classically trained singers of the 20th century and important figure in the struggle of black Americans for racial equality, is commemorated.

Singing a varied repertoire in her rich contralto, Anderson opened doors for other black artists. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt invited her to sing for guests at a White House dinner party in 1936. Eleanor Roosevelt subsequently praised Anderson's performance in a newspaper column. Three years later, Mrs. Roosevelt again wrote about Anderson's artistic gifts, after a group to which the First-Lady belonged, the Daughters of the American Revolution, refused to make its Washington venue-Constitution Hall-unavailable for Anderson's Easter concert due to a "white artists only" policy.

The First Lady left the group, and on Easter Sunday, 1939, Anderson gave a historic and highly symbolic performance outdoors before 75,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial. She presented a varied repertoire, including "America," Schubert's "Ave Maria," and a group of spirituals. Her performance was broadcast on radio nationwide.

At the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August, 1963, Anderson again sang at the Lincoln Memorial. The following December, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Anderson died in Portland, OR in 1993, where she had moved to be with her nephew.

The portrait featured on the stamp is an oil painting by Albert Slark who based his painting on a black-and-white photograph believed to have been made by Moisé Benkow in Stockholm circa 1934. Richard Sheaff is the Art Director.
Marian Anderson
Love Bouquet

The U.S. Postal Service issued its first stamp in the Love series in 1973. Over the years, new concepts of love have appeared on American postage stamps. The 2005 Love stamp features a hand extending a bouquet of colorful flowers, symbolic of the hope and happiness we wish for our loved ones. Artist Vivienne Flesher used chalk pastels to create this design on a cheery yellow-gold background.
Love Bouquet
Ronald Reagan

Information about this stamp honoring the nation's 40th President was provided through this separate news release distributed following the Nov. 9, 2004, stamp unveiling at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA.
Ronald Reagan Stamp
Spring Flowers (4)

Four spring flowers—an iris, a hyacinth, a daffodil, and a tulip—painted by Massachusetts artist Christopher Pullman are featured on these definitive stamps to be issued in booklet form. Pullman's watercolor paintings are based on photographs of blossoms purchased at a Boston flower market and images found in garden catalogs. Mainstays in gardens coast to coast, these four flowers are among the earliest to appear as the winter season ends.
Spring Flowers
Jim Henson and the Muppets (11)

This stamp pane commemorates director, producer, writer and puppeteer Jim Henson (1936-1990), beloved creator of the Muppets. The issuance of these stamps coincides with the 50th anniversary of the television debut of Henson's famous alter ego, Kermit the Frog.

This stamp pane includes eleven stamps.
  • One stamp features a photograph of Jim Henson taken by Norman Seeff in New York City in 1986.
Ten additional stamps depict thirteen Muppet characters most famous for their roles in "The Muppet Show" and the various Muppet movies:
  • Kermit the Frog;
  • Sam the Eagle;
  • Statler and Waldorf;
  • Animal;
  • Rowlf the Dog;
  • Fozzie Bear;
  • Miss Piggy;
  • The Swedish Chef;
  • Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant, Beaker; and
  • The Great Gonzo and Camilla the Chicken.
Born in Greenville, MS in 1936, Henson moved with his family to a suburb of Washington, DC, when he was a child. In 1954, he began his career as a puppeteer on a children's television program in Washington. In 1955, while he was a student at the University of Maryland, his own five-minute show, "Sam and Friends," made its debut on WRC-TV, an NBC affiliate in Washington. The show, which won a local Emmy Award in 1958 and ran until 1961, featured a large cast of characters that Henson dubbed "Muppets," including a green puppet named Kermit who would later become the world-famous Kermit the Frog. The images of the Muppets stamps will also be available on the new Muppets website: www.muppets.com in late November.
Jim Henson and the Muppets
Northeast Deciduous Forest (10)

The Northeast Deciduous Forest stamp pane is the seventh in an educational series designed to promote appreciation of major plant and animal communities in the United States.

Featured on the pane is a painting by artist John D. Dawson. Although the scene itself is imaginary, all of the species depicted can be found in deciduous forests of the Northeast.

A description of this type of forest community and a numbered key to the artwork appear on the back of the pane, along with a corresponding list of common and scientific names for 27 selected species.
    1. Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
    2. Eastern Buckmoth (Hemileuca maia)
    3. Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
    4. Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)
    5. Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
    6. Common Polypody (Polypodium polypodioides)
    7. Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata)
    8. Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus)
    9. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
    10. Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)
    11. Red Eft (Eastern Newt) (Notophthalmus viridescens)
    12. American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
    13. White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
    14. Honey Mushroom (Armillaria mellea)
    15. Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
    16. Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)
    17. Ground Pine (Lycopodium obscurum)
    18. Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
    19. Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)
    20. Spinulose Woodfern (Dryopteris carthusiana)
    21. Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
    22. Chicken Mushroom (Laetiporus sulphureus)
    23. Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
    24. Black Bear (Ursus americanus)
    25. American Chestnut sprouts (Castanea dentata)
    26. Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis)
    27. White Wood Aster (Aster divaricatus)
Lack of space precluded the naming of every species shown in the painting, including the beaver (Castor canadensis) swimming in the background.
Northeast Deciduous Forest
American Scientists - McClintock, von Neumann, Feynman, Gibbs (4)

This issuance honors four American scientists: geneticist Barbara McClintock, mathematician John von Neumann, physicist Richard Feynman, and thermodynamicist Josiah Willard Gibbs.

For each stamp in this block of four, artist Victor Stabin created a collage featuring a portrait of the scientist and drawings that are associated with major contributions made by the scientist.

Text on the back of the stamps highlights their achievements.
  • Barbara McClintock (1902-1992) conducted maize plant research that led to her discovery of genetic transposition-the movement of genetic material within and between chromosomes. In 1983, this pioneering geneticist was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

  • John von Neumann (1903-1957) made significant contributions in both pure and applied mathematics, especially in the areas of quantum mechanics, game theory, computer theory and design. In 1956, the U.S. government presented the Enrico Fermi Award to this eminent mathematician.

  • Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988) developed a new formulation of quantum theory based, in part, on diagrams he invented to help him visualize the dynamics of atomic particles. In 1965, this noted theoretical physicist, enthusiastic educator and amateur artist was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

  • Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839-1903) formulated the modern system of thermodynamic analysis. For this and other extraordinary achievements, Gibbs received some of the most prestigious awards of his era, including the Rumford Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
American Scientists
Robert Penn Warren

With the 21st stamp in the Literary Arts series, the U.S. Postal Service honors poet, novelist and educator Robert Penn Warren on the centennial of his birth. This distinguished man of letters was America's first official poet laureate (1986-87) and a three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize. He is the only writer, as yet, to win the prize in poetry (Promises: Poems, 1954-1956, in 1958, and Now and Then: Poems, 1976-1978, in 1979) as well as fiction (All the King's Men, 1947).

Artist Will Wilson based his portrait of Warren on a 1948 photograph obtained from the Center for Robert Penn Warren Studies at Western Kentucky University. The background art recalls scenes from Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, All the King's Men, and from the Academy Award-winning film inspired by the book.
Robert Penn Warren
Yip Harburg

With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service honors E. Y. (Yip) Harburg, who wrote the lyrics for more than 600 popular songs, including "Over the Rainbow," created with composer Harold Arlen for The Wizard of Oz. Stamp designer Ethel Kessler began with a photograph by Barbara Bordnick in 1978 in her studio in New York, then added other elements including a rainbow and the lyric fragment from Harburg's Oscar-winning song.
Yip Harburg
Henry Fonda

With the 11th stamp in its Legends of Hollywood series, the U.S. Postal Service honors Henry Fonda, one of America's greatest actors, on the 100th anniversary of his May 16, 1905, birth. Stamp artist Drew Struzan based the image on a portrait of Fonda from a 1941 Frank Powolny photograph. For the selvage, art director Derry Noyes used a photograph as a basis for a pencil drawing showing Fonda in his iconic performance as dispossessed farmer Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940).

Text in the selvage reads: Henry Fonda (1905-1982) was noted for his naturalness and sincerity in stage roles and on the screen. Effective in comedic or dramatic roles, he typically played a thoughtful man of integrity. In a career spanning nearly 50 years, he won many honors, including a Tony Award in 1948 for his work in the Broadway production of Mister Roberts and the Academy Award for best actor in 1982 for On Golden Pond.
Henry Fonda
Distinguished Marines (4)

The achievements of John Basilone, Daniel J. Daly, John A. Lejeune and Lewis B. Puller—four legendary Marines who served with bravery and distinction during the 20th century—will be immortalized on postage stamps next year:
  • The John Basilone stamp features a detail of a 1943 photograph of Basilone and the insignia of the 5th Marine Division. Basilone served and died with the 1st Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division during the invasion of Iwo Jima in February 1945.

  • The Daniel J. Daly stamp features a detail from a circa 1919 photograph of Daly and the insignia of the 73rd Machine Gun Company, which is a variation on the Army's 2nd Infantry Division insignia. During World War I, Daly served as a Marine with the 73rd Machine Gun Company in the 2nd Infantry Division.

  • The John A. Lejeune stamp features a detail from a circa 1924 photograph of Lejeune. The stamp also depicts the insignia of the Army's 2nd Infantry Division, which Lejeune commanded during World War I.

  • The Lewis B. Puller stamp features a photograph of Puller at Koto-ri, Korea, in 1950, and the insignia of the 1st Marine Division. Puller was a battalion commander and regimental commander with the 1st Marine Division during World War II and the Korean War.
Distinguished Marines
Masterworks of Modern American Architecture (12)

Twelve masterworks of modern American architecture will be commemorated on a stamp pane next year. Art director Derry Noyes and designer Margaret Bauer chose breathtaking photographs to honor each building. The drawing on the selvage by Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP is a three-dimensional view of Atlanta's High Museum of Art.
  • With its circular ramp coiling around a space topped by a glass dome, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City is one of the most exhilarating interiors in modern architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright meant to design the perfect space in which to contemplate an art collection, and the result was a virtual sculpture in its own right. The Guggenheim, located on Fifth Avenue across from Central Park, opened in 1959.


  • Frank Gehry combined thrilling curves with massive, unusual shapes to create the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The stainless steel of the bold exterior contrasts with the hardwood panels in the main auditorium, where patrons sit on all sides of the orchestra. The hall occupies a full city block and boasts state-of-the-art acoustics; it opened in 2003, making it the newest building on this stamp pane.


  • The Yale Art and Architecture Building, New Haven, CT, completed in 1963, is a solid, textured structure of concrete. Large skylights illuminate the dramatic main interior space, overlooked by mezzanines and bridges. Architect Paul Rudolph intended his bold urban building "to excite and challenge the occupants."


  • The Chrysler Building in New York City is frequently praised as the greatest art deco skyscraper; its distinctive peak is a symbol of the jazz age. Since its completion in 1930, it has remained one of the most recognizable elements in the Manhattan skyline. William Van Alen's design incorporated many references to Chrysler automobiles.


  • Lake Shore Apartments-two identical towers of steel and glass, each 26 stories tall, opened at 860-880 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago in 1951. Their pristine, spare elegance was the hallmark of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's famous principle that "less is more."


  • Like most buildings designed by Richard Meier, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta is white, clad in porcelain-enameled steel panels. Its spiral form recalls the Guggenheim; it is divided into four quadrants, with one hollowed out to make room for a monumental atrium. Named for one of its benefactors, the High Museum opened in 1983.


  • Architect Robert Venturi designed what he characterized as "a little house with big scale, symbolizing shelter" for his mother. The Vanna Venturi house, located in Philadelphia and finished in 1964, is symbolically centered on the chimney and hearth; the chimney splits the structure and space extends outward from the hearth.


  • The East Building of the National Gallery of Art, known for its triangular shapes and light-filled atrium, is visually linked to the museum's original West Building in part by use of the same marble. With its rigorously geometric design by I. M. Pei, it became one of the most noted attractions in Washington, DC upon its completion in 1978.


  • The central reading room in the powerful library at Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH, is circled by balconies containing the stacks. Study carrels are positioned along the perimeter of the building, where small windows at eye level can be closed by sliding wooden shutters. Architect Louis I. Kahn completed the library for this noted prep school in Nov. 1971.


  • Eero Saarinen initially planned to study sculpture; perhaps that's why his architecture shows a marked reliance on sculptural forms. His curving TWA terminal, completed in 1962 at what is now Kennedy Airport in New York City, is one of the first airport buildings to be considered a great monument of modern architecture.


  • As Philip Johnson once observed, "purpose is not necessary to make a building beautiful." He designed his famous house of steel and glass more to be seen than to be lived in. Serene proportion, balance and overall symmetry distinguish this landmark in New Canaan, CT, one of the world's most famous houses since its 1949 completion.


  • The 100 story, multi-use Hancock Center tower in Chicago, affectionately known as "Big John," was designed by architect Bruce Graham and engineer Fazlur Khan of the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and completed in 1970. Crisscrossing braces stacked up the side of the building—actually square steel tubes—carry most of its weight.
Masterworks of Modern American Architecture
American Advances in Aviation (10)

A pane of twenty stamps (ten designs) entitled American Advances in Aviation build on the popular Classic American Aircraft collection issued in 1997. Aircraft chosen for this new stamp pane illustrate American innovations and technological contributions to military, commercial, and general aviation during the 1930s, '40s and '50s. The following ten aircraft are featured on stamps:
  • Boeing's 247 and B-29 Superfortress;
  • Consolidated's PBY Catalina and B-24 Liberator;
  • Lockheed's P-80 Shooting Star;
  • Grumman's F6F Hellcat;
  • Republic's P-47 Thunderbolt;
  • Northrop's YB-49 Flying Wing;
  • Engineering and Research Corporation's Ercoupe 415; and
  • Beechcraft's 35 Bonanza.
  • Depicted in the header illustration are the Hughes H-1 racer and Boeing's YB-52 Stratofortress.
The stamp illustrations and header design were painted by William S. Phillips, an award-winning historical aviation and landscape artist who also created the artwork for the 1997 Classic American Aircraft collection. Phillips was honored in 1986 with a one-man show of his work at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. In 1988 he was selected to be a U.S. Navy combat artist.
American Advances in Aviation
The Art of Disney: Celebrations (4)

The U.S. Postal Service honors the "art" of celebration as portrayed by Walt Disney and his studio animators in August through four festive stamps:
  • Mickey Mouse holds a birthday cake just beyond the reach of his eager pal Pluto.
  • Alice has a tea party in Wonderland with the Mad Hatter.
  • The Little Mermaid Ariel, plays music for Flounder, her undersea friend in the third.
  • And in the fourth stamp, Snow White and Dopey do a lighthearted dance.
This is the second stamp pane featuring the art of Disney to be issued by the U.S. Postal Service; the first was on the theme of friendship (stamp designs not finalized).
The Art of Disney: Celebrations.
Arthur Ashe

In 2005, the Postal Service honors Arthur Ashe (1943-1993), the first African-American man to win Grand Slam tennis tournaments—Wimbledon and the United States and Australian Opens. Ashe became as renowned for his intellect, moral character and commitment to social causes as for his prowess on the tennis courts of the world. A month before Ashe died, Sports Illustrated named him "Sportsman of the Year" and ran this color photograph of him by Michael O'Neill on the cover of the Dec. 21, 1992, issue. The softly lit, photographic portrait shows Ashe in semi-profile against a black background, holding a tennis racket. The image merges Ashe's athletic and intellectual attributes and reveals a visionary quality as Ashe appears to gaze into the future, where he believed positive change could be realized. Carl T. Hermman is the stamp's art director.
Arthur Ashe
Let's Dance / Bailemos (Let Us Dance) (4)

Latino pop and tropical salsa traditions will be highlighted with four stamps celebrating popular dance. Designed by Ethel Kessler and featuring original works by four Latino artists, the stamps depict dancers performing:
  • the cha-cha-cha,
  • the mambo,
  • the merengue,
  • and moving to the rhythms of salsa—all of which have become very popular in the U.S. and around the world.
Let's Dance / Bailemos
American Treasures: New Mexico Rio Grande Blankets (4)

For this fifth issuance in the American Treasures series, art director Derry Noyes chose four 19th-century New Mexico Rio Grande blankets. The pane includes four stamps.
  • Top left:
    New Mexico Rio Grande blanket, circa 1895; handspun wool; synthetic-dyed; red, orange, yellow and white; highly traditional, symmetrical five-band pattern. Taylor Museum, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs, CO.

  • Top right:
    New Mexico Rio Grande blanket, circa 1880; handspun wool; natural undyed light and dark; synthetic-dyed pink, red, orange and yellow; three bands of serrate chevrons with tiny hourglass figures separated by zones of wide colored stripes. Museum of New Mexico Collection at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM; Gift of Miss Florence Dibell Bartlett.

  • Bottom left:
    New Mexico Rio Grande Blanket, pre-1865; handspun wool; natural undyed light and dark; indigo dye; originally had six bands of stepped chevrons forming diamonds at the center seam, separated by zones of blue and brown stripes; design related to the Navajo "chief blanket." Museum of New Mexico Collection at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM; Gift of Mrs. Edgar L. Rossin.

  • Bottom right:
    New Mexico Rio Grande Blanket, circa 1890s; handspun wool; natural undyed light and dark; synthetic-dyed red and blue-green; complex central Saltillo-style serrate diamond extending into side borders containing serrate zigzag columns. Museum of New Mexico Collection at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, NM.
American Treasures: New Mexico Rio Grande Blankets
To Form a More Perfect Union (10)

The courage and achievement of the men and women who struggled to bring the vision of the nation's founders closer to reality during the civil rights movement will be recognized on a pane of 10 stamps. Stamp designer Ethel Kessler uses details from contemporary artworks to illustrate the historical events commemorated on this stamp pane.
  • William H. Johnson's Training for War, a silk-screen print made circa 1941, recalls President Harry S. Truman's Executive Order integrating the military, issued on July 26, 1948.

  • The landmark Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), declaring that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal, is suggested by Romare Bearden's lithograph The Lamp (1984).

  • The Montgomery Bus Boycott is represented by a detail from Walking, a painting made in 1958 by Charles Alston.

  • George Hunt's painting America Cares (1997) remembers the nine courageous students who were the first African Americans to attend Central High School in Little Rock, AR.

  • The sit-in movement to integrate "whites-only" lunch counters is recalled by an exhibit created for the National Civil Rights Museum by StudioEIS, a design and fabrication firm in New York.

  • A gouache by May Stevens, Freedom Riders, made in 1963, honors the men and women who risked their lives that year on integrated bus trips through the South. March on Washington, painted in 1964 by Alma Thomas, commemorates the great demonstration of 1963.

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is suggested by Dixie Café, a brush-and-ink drawing made in 1948 by Jacob Lawrence.

  • The march from Selma, AL, to the state capital, Montgomery, in the spring of 1965 is represented by Selma March, an acrylic painting made in 1991 by Bernice Sims.

  • The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is suggested by Bruce Davidson's photograph Youths on the Selma March, 1965.

  • The image used on the selvage depicting Martin Luther King Jr. is a detail from a painting made by Louis Delsarte in 2000, From Selma to Montgomery.
To Form a More Perfect Union
America on the Move: '50s Sporty Cars (5)

Five commemorative stamps featuring the sporty look of American cars designed in the 1950s—a decade marked by post-World War II euphoria and economic prosperity—will be issued late summer or early fall. They include a:
  • 1952 Nash Healey,
  • 1953 Chevrolet Corvette,
  • 1953 Studebaker Starliner,
  • 1954 Kaiser Darrin, and a
  • 1955 Ford Thunderbird.
Referring to photographs of each car and his own cache of landscape images for the stamp backgrounds, artist Art Fitzpatrick has rendered each stamp in meticulous detail. Fitzpatrick was once a car designer and a long-time advertising designer and illustrator for General Motors. Some of the stamps were modeled after cars in existence today.
America on the Move: '50s Sporty Cars
Greta Garbo

The U.S. Postal Service joins Sweden Post in a 2005 stamp issuance Sept. 23 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary film actress Greta Garbo. Born Sept. 18, 1905, Garbo was known for her beauty, artistry, enigmatic personality and sensuality, which continue to resonate with film audiences (stamp design not finalized).
Greta Garbo
Constellations (4)

Starry patterns in the night sky adorn a block of four stamps that will be available next year. Each stamp features one of the following constellations as seen from the Northern Hemisphere:
  • Leo,
  • Lyra,
  • Pegasus, and
  • Orion.
The designs are original artwork created by well-known illustrator, graphic designer and educator McRay Magleby of Provo, UT. Magleby used star maps by Wil Tirion as reference for the placement and size of the stars depicted in the stamp art. Tirion, who lives in the Netherlands, has been called "this generation's foremost celestial cartographer."
Constellations
Child Health

The U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of drawing attention to important social awareness issues with this stamp promoting children's health. Art director Carl T. Herrman and stamp artist Craig Frazier show a silhouette of a physician placing a stethoscope on a child's chest.

There is no verso text. However, the selvage text is as follows: "Balanced Diet and Exercise, Regular Medical Checkups, Car Seats Each Time and Caring for Our Future."
Child Health
Holiday Cookies (4)

The 2005 winter holiday season will be celebrated with four stamps featuring festively decorated cookies.
  • Two snowmen,
  • two elves (one sugar cookie and one made of gingerbread),
  • an angel,
  • and Santa Claus
are all part of the delicious fun, adding homemade warmth to seasonal correspondence.

Photographer Sally Andersen-Bruce of New Milford, CT, recruited a team of experts—including Tommy Simpson, of Washington, CT (who also made the cookie cutters); Emily Diffrient-Crumpton, of Austin, TX; and Rebecca Vermilyea, of Bethlehem, CT—to help bake and decorate the charming cookies shown on these stamps.
Holiday Cookies

###

Since 1775, the U.S. Postal Service has connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by mail. An independent federal agency, the Postal Service makes deliveries to more than 141 million addresses every day and is the only service provider to deliver to every address in the nation. The Postal Service receives no taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual revenues of more than $68 billion, it is the world's leading provider of mail and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the world. Moreover, today's postage rates will remain stable until at least 2006. The U.S. Postal Service delivers more than 46 percent of the world's mail volume—some 202 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals and packages a year—and serves seven million customers each day at its 38,000 retail locations nationwide.


 Back to Stamp News