With this 2013 stamp, the U.S. Postal Service commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Abraham Lincoln signed on January 1, 1863. Lincoln’s proclamation, issued nearly two years into the Civil War, declared that all slaves in the rebel states of the Confederacy “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
The stamp art uses that powerful statement, “Henceforward Shall Be Free,” on a design evocative of broadsides from the Civil War era.
Lincoln believed the Emancipation Proclamation, potentially applying to several million African-American slaves in the South, was the “central act of my administration, and the great event of the nineteenth century.” According to many historians, only the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States have had as great an impact on human life and liberty for so many.
One provision of the proclamation authorized enlisting African Americans in the Union army. Some 180,000 blacks subsequently joined the army, and nearly 40,000 gave their lives fighting for freedom.
Art director Antonio Alcalá worked with graphic designer Gail Anderson to produce this important commemorative stamp, one of a civil rights set being issued in 2013.
The Emancipation Proclamation stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp in self-adhesive sheets of 20. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
Sealed with Love(Love)
Evoking the romance of a bygone era, the Sealed with Love stamp expresses the joy and beauty of handwritten love letters. The stamp art depicts an envelope fastened with an elegant wax seal. The seal, in shades of red, is a small heart enclosed inside a larger heart, both surrounded by a graceful filigree circle. The exquisite delicacy of the stamp art invites us to send our own love letters, a romantic gesture that never goes out of style.
The Victorians were ardent letter writers and believed that there was a proper way to compose letters, particularly love letters. Etiquette manuals aided Victorian romantics in penning appropriate letters to their beloveds. While these books reflected the Victorian obsession with propriety, the senders still wished to make their feelings known, and there was a precise etiquette for using sealing wax. Although today red is the color most associated with passion, in the mid-1800s, blue was the color of love, with wax of various shades denoting the degree of emotion felt by the sender.
Graphic designer Louise Fili worked with art director Derry Noyes on this stamp. Jessica Hische was the illustrator.
The Sealed with Love stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
Spring flowers, state flowers, wildflowers—these are but a few of the many botanical subjects on stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service. Flowers are among the most popular subjects for collectors and the stamp-buying public. In a modern twist on a perennial favorite, the Kaleidoscope Flowers stamps combine the allure of flowers with the impact of modern computer graphics.
The set of four stamps depicts the same contemporary flower drawing, with each stamp featuring one of four different color combinations: red and blue, green and purple, orange and violet, or pink and green. Some of the color combinations create the illusion that patterns recede or come forward, giving the stamps a dramatic visual appeal. The lines and curves of the drawing are reminiscent of a kaleidoscope flower—familiar, yet at the same time utterly distinctive.
Designed by art director Antonio Alcalá, Kaleidoscope Flowers features the work of graphic artists Petra and Nicole Kapitza.
Year of the Snake(Celebrating Lunar New Year)
It’s good to welcome the New Year with a bang! A bundle of firecrackers—colored red for luck—highlight the U.S. Postal Service’s 2013 Year of the Snake stamp, sixth in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series. The Year of the Snake begins on February 10, 2013, and ends on January 30, 2014.
Across many cultures, in the United States as elsewhere, the Lunar New Year is celebrated in various ways, often with parades and parties. Firecrackers are traditionally used to scare off evil spirits and welcome this time of renewed hope for the future. Lucky foods are eaten—kumquats, for example (issued in 2011)—and given as gifts. Festive lanterns, colored red for luck (issued in 2008), are common decorations at Lunar New Year celebrations, where they are frequently hung in rows.
Combining original artwork by Kam Mak with two elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps—Clarence Lee’s intricate paper-cut design of a snake and the Chinese character for “Snake,” drawn in grass-style calligraphy by Lau Bun—art director Ethel Kessler has created a culturally rich stamp design that celebrates the diversity of the American experience.
The Year of the Snake stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp in self-adhesive sheets of 12. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
Modern Art in America
In celebration of the triumph of modern art in America, the U.S. Postal Service commemorates 12 important modern artists and their works, 100 years after the groundbreaking Armory Show opened in New York in 1913.
The masterpieces reproduced in the stamp art were created between 1912 and 1931.
Stuart Davis’s vibrant depictions of contemporary commercial objects made him an important precursor of the later Pop artists. His oil-on-canvas painting, House and Street (1931), presents two views of a street in New York, forcing the viewer to be in two places at once.
Charles Demuth, a leading watercolorist of his era, is widely remembered for his “poster portraits” of friends such as the poet William Carlos Williams, the subject of the work I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (1928), in oil, graphite, ink, and gold leaf on paperboard.
Aaron Douglas was the most important visual artist to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance. The gouache-on-paper painting, The Prodigal Son (1927), was created in a modernist style that has been described as “Afro-Cubism.”
Arthur Dove was one of modern art’s earliest abstract painters and was probably the first American artist to paint a totally abstract canvas. Dove was interested in attempting to duplicate sound as colors and shapes. The oil-on-canvas painting, Fog Horns (1929), suggests the peal of foghorns at sea.
Marcel Duchamp, an important forerunner of the Pop art and conceptual art movements, outraged and disturbed many viewers by irreverently flouting artistic convention. His oil-on-canvas painting, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912), was the most talked-about work at the Armory Show of 1913.
Marsden Hartley was one of America’s greatest modernist painters. His oil-on-canvas work, Painting, Number 5 (1914-15), is an abstract composite portrait of Karl von Freyburg, a young German officer who was killed in World War I.
John Marin was the preeminent watercolorist of his era. He transformed the medium by experimenting with abstraction, such as in his watercolor-on-paper painting, Sunset, Maine Coast (1919).
Gerald Murphy produced only about a dozen works in less than ten years as a practicing artist, yet today he is recognized as a significant painter whose work prefigured the Pop art of the 1960s. The oil-on-canvas painting, Razor (1924), typifies Murphy’s work in its detailed depiction of commonplace objects.
Georgia O’Keeffe was one of the foremost painters of the 20th century. Widely known for her close-up flower paintings, O’Keeffe also famously painted urban and desert landscapes, including this oil-on-canvas painting, Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie’s II (1930).
Man Ray was associated with some of the most important artistic movements of the 20th century—chief among them Dadaism and Surrealism—and is best known for his photography. His gelatin-silver print, Noire et Blanche (1926), is from a series of photographs juxtaposing a woman’s face with a Baule mask (or a replica) from West Africa.
Charles Sheeler explored the balance between abstraction and realism in his photographs and paintings, which often depicted aspects of the mechanized modern world. By titling this oil-on-canvas painting American Landscape (1930), Sheeler explored the relationship between rural traditions and his modern subject matter.
Joseph Stella, American’s first Futurist painter, is remembered for his multiple images of the Brooklyn Bridge and other iconic New York scenes. The oil-on-canvas painting, Brooklyn Bridge (1919-1920), has been read as a comment on the tension between technological achievement and the spiritual dimension implicit in any human endeavor.
The stamp sheet also includes a quote by Marcel Duchamp and verso text that identifies each work of art and briefly tells something about each artist. Art director Derry Noyes worked on the stamp sheet with designer Margaret Bauer.
Art © Estate of Honoria Murphy Donnelly/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Art © Heirs of Aaron Douglas/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Art © Man Ray Trust/ARS/ADAGP 2012
Art © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris/Succession Marcel Duchamp
Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/Out Back of Marie’s II, 1930 © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
Art © 2011 Estate of John Marin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Art © The Estate of Arthur G. Dove/Terry Dintenfass, Inc.
Art © Estate of Stuart Davis/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
In 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks courageously refused to give up her seat on a municipal bus to a white man, defying the discriminatory laws of the time. The U.S. Postal Service is proud to honor the life of this extraordinary American activist who became an iconic figure in the civil rights movement.
The stamp art, a gouache painting on illustration board, is a portrait of Parks emphasizing her quiet strength. A 1950s photograph served as the basis for the stamp portrait.
The response to Parks’s arrest was a boycott of the Montgomery bus system that lasted for more than a year and became an international cause célèbre. In 1956, in a related case, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that segregating Montgomery buses was unconstitutional.
Soon after the boycott ended, Parks moved to Detroit, Michigan. She joined the 1963 march on Washington and returned to Alabama in 1965 to join the march from Selma to Montgomery. The many honors Parks received in her lifetime include the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1966), the Spingarn Medal (1979), and the Congressional Gold Medal (1999). Upon her death in 2005, she became the first woman and second African American to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC.
Artist Thomas Blackshear II created an original painting for the stamp, which was designed by art director Derry Noyes.
The stamp honoring Rosa Parks is one of three stamps in the civil rights set celebrating freedom, courage, and equality being issued in 2013. It is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
Rosa Parks’s name and image used under license with the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.
In 2013, the U.S. Postal Service introduces Global Forever®, a new international rate stamp. The Global Forever stamp offers a single price for any First-Class Mail International 1-ounce letter to any country in the world. For the January 27, 2013, price change, the Global Forever stamp may also be used to mail a 2-ounce letter to Canada.
This stamp features a rendering of Earth composed of images created from satellite data and redesigned with 3D computer technology. The view of our planet shows the Atlantic Ocean flanked by the Americas, Africa, and part of northern Europe. In the stamp art, the globe is isolated on a white background. The shape of the stamp is round. The text, which surrounds the image of Earth, includes the words “Global Forever.”
Italian artist Leonello Calvetti used a variety of maps, primarily from NASA, to create his design. With 3D computer technology he was able to modify depth, vary color, and create subtle light and shadow details on terrain surfaces to achieve a high level of photorealism while also attaining something new. “I always have been fascinated by space and what astronauts could see from out there,” Calvetti says. “As an artist, an illustrator, I wanted to make my own representation of the Earth.”
Art director William J. Gicker selected this depiction of Earth by Calvetti. Greg Breeding designed the stamp.
The Global Forever stamps are being issued in self-adhesive sheets of 20 at the $1.10 rate, or $22.00 per sheet.
The spectacular spicebush swallowtail butterfly graces the third butterfly stamp for use on large greeting card envelopes.
The stamp art was created on a computer, using images of preserved butterflies as a starting point. The result is a highly stylized, simplified image of a spicebush swallowtail rather than an exact replica.
Both as caterpillars and adults, spicebush swallowtails hide from their predators in plain sight. They do this by mimicking other animals and even inedible objects. When very young, the brown and white caterpillar resembles a bird dropping. The caterpillar later morphs into what looks like a small green snake, with yellow and black markings that resemble a snake’s eyes and a false forked tongue. The butterfly’s chrysalis mimics a dried brown leaf, complete with veins.
Nationally known artist Tom Engeman worked with art director Derry Noyes on this design.
The square format of the stamp was developed in partnership with the greeting card industry to indicate that this stamp may be used for square envelopes weighing up to and including one ounce. Greeting card envelopes printed with a silhouette of a butterfly indicate the need for an additional 20 cents postage--or the use of this butterfly stamp. The butterfly stamp may also be used to mail envelopes with irregular sizes and shapes.
Yes, I Do
Though seemingly small, these three words hold enormous meaning, marking the beginning of two lives joined together in love. The Yes, I Do stamp is a charming and romantic addition to the U.S. Postal Service’s Weddings series, adding a festive yet elegant flair to wedding correspondence.
With the words “Yes, I Do” nestled in a colorful bouquet of stylized flowers in the shape of a heart, this stamp is sure to add a touch of beauty to wedding invitations. The stamp will be issued at the two-ounce mailing rate to accommodate the heavier weight of an invitation, as well as other mailings such as oversized cards or small gifts that require extra postage.
The stamp was art directed by Ethel Kessler and designed by Michael Osborne.
The Yes, I Do stamps are being issued in self-adhesive sheets of 20 at the 2-ounce rate.
Lydia Mendoza(Music Icons)
One of the first and greatest stars of Tejano music, Lydia Mendoza (1916-2007) is seen strumming her 12-string guitar on this lively stamp, one of several that inaugurates the Music Icons series.
This square stamp captures the look of a vintage 45-rpm record sleeve, down to a slight weathering away of the colors. The stamp art features a black-and-white publicity photo of Mendoza taken in the 1950s. The flag of Texas, Mendoza’s home state, is splashed across the photo, its vertical blue bar and horizontal red stripe providing the stamp’s only color.
Nicknamed La Alondra de la Frontera, the Lark of the Border, Lydia Mendoza performed the Spanish-language music of the Texas-Mexico borderlands and beyond. She is best known for her solo performances, her soulful voice accompanied only by the playing of her 12-string guitar. Mendoza recorded more than a thousand songs in a career that spanned seven decades. Through her music, she gave a voice not only to the poor and working-class people of the border, but also to Latinos throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Born into a musical family, Mendoza first performed with her mother, father, and sister in stores and restaurants. After winning a singing contest on the radio, she recorded several solo cuts for Bluebird Records in 1934, including “Mal Hombre” or “Evil Man,” which went on to become her biggest hit.
Neal Ashby and Patrick Donohue designed the stamp, working with art director Antonio Alcalá.
The Lydia Mendoza stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
With tufts of bright yellow feathers springing from its head, the tufted puffin looks like a clown to some and a punk rocker to others. Two of these unmistakable sea birds appear on the Tufted Puffins stamp, depicted during breeding season when their signature yellow plumage appears.
Tufted puffins can be found along the Pacific coast from Oregon to Alaska. They hunt underwater, diving as deep as 200 feet and using their wings to propel themselves through the water. True creatures of the sea, they even eat underwater, and spend much of their lives on the open ocean. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp, which features a painting by artist Robert Giusti.
With these stamps, the U.S. Postal Service proves that apples are not only good—and good for you—but they’re also delightful, cheery stamp subjects, just right for postcards!
Some of America’s favorite varieties of this popular fruit are shown in these four stamps, each depicting a different kind: the bright-red Baldwin, the green Granny Smith, the yellow Golden Delicious, and the multi-colored Northern Spy. The stamp art was illustrated with pen and ink and watercolor, with some additional detail added on the computer.
The juicy and aromatic Baldwin apple is thought to be native to Massachusetts. These winter apples are delicious when eaten in season—fresh, cooked, or in baked goods—and are prized by makers of cider.
“Spies are for pies!” The homey little rhyme offers a reminder that generations of cooks have found the Northern Spy apple delicious when baked in desserts. This variety is also good for cider and juice. Scientists believe this apple, loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants, may be one of the best at keeping the doctor away.
The Golden Delicious apple, named for its yellow-gold skin and sweet flavor, was declared the official state fruit of West Virginia in 1995. This excellent all-round apple is especially delicious when it comes ripe from the tree. When cooked, it makes a purée good for use in baby foods. This apple is said to make the best apple butter!
The tart, green Granny Smith apple is one of the world’s most well-known varieties. Its pleasingly sour flavor and crisp texture makes this juicy apple good for cooking or eating fresh. After it is cut, it keeps its color longer than other varieties, making it an especially good choice for salads.
Designed by art director Derry Noyes, Apples features the work of John Burgoyne.
Arlington Green Bridge
The scenic Arlington Green Bridge in Bennington County, Vermont, takes center stage in this Priority Mail stamp. One of the most-photographed covered bridges in the state, it was built in 1852.
The digital stamp art depicts the red wooden bridge against a backdrop of autumn leaves. On the far side of the bridge, a white church steeple rises from a traditional village green. The bridge spans the Batten Kill trout stream in Arlington, just off Route 313 in southern Vermont. Although it stretches 80 feet across the stream, the bridge’s roadbed is only wide enough to allow one lane of traffic to rumble over its wooden planks at a time.
Designed by Derry Noyes, the stamp showcases a digital illustration created by artist Dan Cosgrove.
Where Dreams Blossom
As universal symbols of love and happiness, flowers are often the centerpiece of our most sacred ceremonies and cheerful occasions. With a splash of color and a beautiful bouquet, the Where Dreams Blossom stamp adds a fun and contemporary flair to all kinds of correspondence.
With a stylized bouquet of flowers similar to the design of the 2013 two-ounce Yes, I Do wedding stamp, Where Dreams Blossom is perfect for any occasion, including for use on save-the-date notices, response cards, and thank-you notes. It can also be used for cards and letters sent to celebrate other joyous moments and to deliver comfort and encouragement. As an unknown author observed, “Hopes are planted in friendship’s garden where dreams blossom into priceless treasures.”
The stamp was art directed by Ethel Kessler and designed by Michael Osborne.
The Where Dreams Blossom stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp in self-adhesive sheets of 20. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
The smallest swallow in North America now perches on Bank Swallow Stamped Envelope. The highly realistic stamp art, based on photographs, shows a large illustration of the swallow perching and a smaller illustration of the bird in flight. Like all swallows, bank swallows are agile songbirds that specialize in catching insects in midair. They use their beaks and feet to dig burrows in sandy banks overlooking lakes and streams. A typical bank swallow colony can have anywhere from ten to nearly 2,000 nests.
Art director William J. Gicker designed the envelope, using illustrations created by artist Matthew Frey.
The Bank Swallow Stamped Envelope is being issued as a Forever® stamped envelope. Its postage will always be equal to the value of the First-Class Mail one-ounce rate in effect at the time of use, even if the rate increases after purchase.
Deer Stamped Card
The silhouette of a deer now prances across Deer Stamped Card. A fanciful graphic of a golden deer, surrounded by gold and green cattails and grasses, captures the graceful look of an animal that is found in many countries around the world. The white-tailed deer is the most common species of deer in the United States.
Excellent runners and swimmers, whitetails can exceed speeds of 30 miles per hour when fleeing a predator. In the 1800s, people on the frontier fashioned deerskins into jackets, clothing, and moccasins, and even traded the skins, known as buckskins, as a form of currency. As a result, a dollar bill is known as a “buck” to this day.
Art director Ethel Kessler designed the envelope, using an illustration created by artist Cathie Bleck.
The Deer Stamped Card is being issued as a Forever® stamped card. Its postage will always be equal to the value of the First-Class Mail postcard rate in effect at the time of use, even if the rate increases after purchase.
With this illustration of a red, white, and blue striped star, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates American patriotism. The star is one of the nation’s quintessential symbols, a shining reminder of our indomitable spirit. “When I go out of doors in the summer night, and see how high the stars are,” wrote 19th-century philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, “I am persuaded that there is time enough, here or somewhere, for all that I must do.”
The Patriotic Star stamp features a red, white, and blue five-pointed star on a white background. The star on the stamp is actually two stars—a smaller one inside a larger one. Both have five points, like the stars on the American flag.
Created digitally by artist Nancy Stahl, the star is designed to look like it is crafted from striped ribbon. Greg Breeding served as the art director on the project.
To accommodate business use, the Patriotic Star is being issued as a First-Class Rate Large Coil stamp in coils of 3,000 and 10,000. At the time of issuance, the Patriotic Star stamps are being sold at a price of 46 cents each, or $1,380 (for a coil of 3,000) or $4,600 (for a coil of 10,000).
Grand Central Terminal
A beloved New York City landmark turns one hundred years old in 2013, and the U.S. Postal Service is celebrating with the Grand Central Terminal issuance. The train station officially opened on February 2, 1913, and was soon recognized as one of the most majestic public spaces in the world.
The stamp art captures the grandeur of this architectural masterpiece with an illustration of the main concourse. Early morning sunlight streams through the 60-foot-tall windows, illuminating the people below. In the foreground, travelers gather near the station’s round information booth topped with its four-sided clock. The edges of the terminal’s famous sky ceiling can be seen at the top of the stamp art, its background of robin’s egg blue decorated with a mural of constellations and figures of the Zodiac.
The graphic illustration was created by artist Dan Cosgrove, working with art director Phil Jordan. Grand Central Terminal is being issued at the Express Mail rate.
Images of Grand Central Terminal® New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Used with permission.
West Virginia Statehood
With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates 150 years of West Virginia statehood. Admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, West Virginia is one of only two new states created during the war and the only one created by separation from a Confederate state. Located entirely within the Appalachian Highlands, West Virginia is now known as the Mountain State. Its official motto reflects the realities of topography as well as its individualistic spirit: montani semper liberi, “mountaineers are always free.”
The stamp features a photograph by West Virginia photographer Roger Spencer showing an early morning view looking east from the Highland Scenic Highway (Route 150) in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, within Monongahela National Forest.
Today, nearly 1.9 million people call West Virginia home. With coal as the state’s most abundant natural resource, around 30,000 West Virginians work in the coal-mining industry, helping to produce more than one-tenth of the country’s supply, and the natural gas and oil industries, while less visible, are essential. In keeping with the current state slogan, “Wild and Wonderful,” tourism is also vital to the West Virginia economy, with mountains and rugged wilderness drawing visitors from across the country and around the world for hunting, fishing, skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting.
The photograph on this stamp was taken in October 2008. Greg Breeding served as art director.
1970 Chevelle SS
With features like optional twin racing stripes, the 1970 Chevelle SS looked fierce. SS stood for Super Sport, a fitting designation for the car, which had serious power. A 396-cubic-inch engine was available, but a 454-cubic-inch engine option gave the 1970 Chevelle SS credibility among muscle car enthusiasts. Two versions of the 454 engine were available: the 360-horsepower LS-5 and the 450-horsepower LS-6. For its sheer power, the latter has become legendary among car buffs.
The LS-6-propelled 1970 Chevelle SS was lightning quick. It finished in the 13-second range in quarter-mile tests. Optional Cowl Induction, a flap on the bulged hood that allowed cold air to flow into the engine, added even more kick. In addition to its impressive road performance, the 1970 Chevelle SS was also known for its unique style. Available as a coupe or a convertible, the 1970 Chevelle SS featured a black grille and SS emblems on both the grille and the rear bumper.
General Motors Chevelle and Pontiac Trademarks used under license to the USPS.
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
The outrageously styled 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona was designed to dominate on the racetrack. The car, which underwent wind-tunnel testing before its release, took the checkered flag at its NASCAR debut in September 1969 at Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega. The production version of the car was powered by a standard 440-cubic-inch, 375-horsepower Magnum engine. A limited number of Daytonas were also available with a 426-cubic-inch Hemi, a race-inspired engine Chrysler introduced earlier that decade. (Chrysler first used a version of the Hemi — a high-performance engine with hemispherical combustion chambers — in automobiles in the 1950s.)
Concealed headlights, fender-mounted scoops, a nearly two-foot tall, rear-mounted wing, and an 18-inch nose piece helped boost aerodynamics. Other signature touches were thick body stripes containing the word “DAYTONA.” The distinctive vehicles were not easy to come by. In order to qualify for NASCAR racing, at least 500 Daytonas had to be made available for purchase. Only 503 were produced.
Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda are trademarks of Chrysler Group LLC.
1970 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda
The 1970 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda, a performance-oriented alter-ego of the standard 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, oozed power. The car’s 426-cubic-inch Hemi engine was a 425-horsepower beast. The car was part of what Plymouth called “The Rapid Transit System.” The 1970 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda was “our angriest, slipperiest-looking body shell wrapped around ol’ King Kong hisself,” one advertisement bellowed.
One of the 1970 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda’s more audacious features was a Shaker hood scoop, which vibrated as air flowed through to the engine’s two four-barrel carburetors. The car’s styling was an extension of its bold ethos. It was available in a variety of eye-popping color choices, such as Lemon Twist, Lime Light, and Vitamin C. Hockey-stick shaped stripes denoting engine size, a shifter handle shaped like a pistol grip, and bucket seats were also offered. The model is also a rare specimen: Fewer than 700 were produced.
Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda are trademarks of Chrysler Group LLC.
1966 Pontiac GTO
The Pontiac GTO ushered in the American muscle-car era in the mid-1960s, just as the baby boomers began to come of age. The first GTO was born when engineers dropped a 389-cubic-inch V8 engine, which was built for a full-size sedan, into an intermediate-size Pontiac Tempest LeMans. Initially offered simply as an option on the Tempest LeMans, the GTO — which in Italian stood for Gran Turismo Omologato, or in English, Grand Touring Homologated — became its own model in 1966.
Available as a hardtop, coupe, or convertible, the 1966 Pontiac GTO was equipped with a standard 335-horsepower V8 engine. The “Goat” could really move; in tests, it went from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds. It also looked much different than its predecessors. Starting in 1966, the car featured curvy styling and a split grille. That model year, sales of the distinctive GTO peaked.
General Motors Chevelle and Pontiac Trademarks used under license to the USPS.
This souvenir sheet features a new version of perhaps the most famous error in the history of U.S. stamps: the Inverted Jenny, a 1918 misprint that highlights the ways a single stamp can turn history upside down.
The sheet includes six Inverted Jenny stamps, reprinted with an updated denomination and surrounded by an illustration that includes the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.; the route of the first regularly scheduled airmail service between Washington, Philadelphia, and New York; and aviation pioneer Reuben H. Fleet, who was in charge of the first group of airmail pilots.
Originally issued on May 14, 1918, to commemorate the start of the first regular airmail service the following day, the original Jenny stamp was designed to show a Curtiss JN-4H, or “Jenny,” the biplane used to deliver the mail. However, one sheet of 100 stamps that mistakenly showed the biplane upside down was sold on the first day of issue to a collector in Washington, D.C. — and one of the greatest philatelic treasures in U.S. history was released into the world.
The art director for this souvenir sheet was Antonio Alcalá. The selvage artwork was created by Steven Noble.
The new Inverted Jenny stamp is being reprinted with a $2 denomination to make it easily distinguishable from the 24-cent 1918 original.
1967 Shelby GT-500
Manufacturer Carroll Shelby’s take on the Ford Mustang reflected his roots as a racecar driver. The 1967 Shelby GT-500 was powered by a 428-cubic-inch, 355-horsepower Police Interceptor engine. The car also featured a rear spoiler and optional dealer-installed LeMans stripes. Rocker panel stripes came standard on the 1967 Shelby GT-500, which also sported grille-mounted headlights. A scooped fiberglass hood, extended nose, and interior roll bar and shoulder harnesses further enhanced the racecar feel.
The 1967 Shelby GT-500 was more than just a racer. The improved suspension softened the ride, resulting in a vehicle that was comfortable to drive on the highway as well as on the track. The car was both striking and rare; only 2,048 were built. A customized or original version of the 1967 Shelby GT-500 has appeared in contemporary movies and magazines, rekindling American pop culture’s fascination with the model. In 2007, Ford reintroduced the Shelby GT-500 into the Mustang model lineup.
"Shelby®” and "GT-500®” are registered trademarks of Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc. used under license.
MUSTANG is a registered trademark of Ford Motor Company.
The Civil War: 1863
The Civil War (1861-1865), the most profound conflict in American history, claimed the lives of more than 620,000 soldiers and brought vast changes to the country. The Postal Service continues its commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the war by issuing a souvenir sheet of two stamp designs for 2013.
One stamp depicts the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest battle of the war, while the other depicts the Battle of Vicksburg, a complex Union campaign to gain control of the Mississippi River.
Art director Phil Jordan created the stamps using iconic images of the battles. The Battle of Gettysburg stamp is a reproduction of an 1887 chromolithograph by Thure de Thulstrup (1848-1930), a Swedish-born artist who became an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly after the Civil War. Thulstrup’s work was one of a series of popular prints commissioned in the 1880s by Boston publisher Louis Prang & Co. to commemorate the Civil War.
The Battle of Vicksburg stamp is a reproduction of an 1863 lithograph by Currier & Ives titled “Admiral Porter’s Fleet Running the Rebel Blockade of the Mississippi at Vicksburg, April 16th, 1863.”
The background image on the souvenir sheet is a photograph taken by Mathew Brady shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg of captured Confederate soldiers, who reportedly posed for Brady on Seminary Ridge.
The souvenir sheet includes comments on the war by Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, Rufus R. Dawes (a Union soldier), and William Tunnard (a Confederate soldier). It also includes some of the lyrics of “Lorena,” a popular Civil War song by Henry D. L. Webster and Joseph P. Webster.
The Battle of Gettysburg and Battle of Vicksburg stamps are being issued as self-adhesive Forever® stamps on souvenir sheets of 12 (6 of each design). Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
A Flag for All Seasons
From the heights of sunny summer to the snowy depths of winter, Old Glory proudly waves—thanks to laws and traditions that encourage respect for our vital national symbol. Guidelines for the display and treatment of the American flag hark back to the National Flag Code adopted in 1923 at the National Flag Conference and amended a year later. A federal law in 1942 further provided specific rules for using and displaying the flag.
Federal law states that the American flag should be displayed every day of the year, but especially on federal and state holidays, the "birthdays" of states, and other days according to presidential proclamation. As long as a flag is a durable, all-weather flag, it may be displayed outdoors throughout the year, regardless of the weather.
Each of the four A Flag For All Seasons stamps shows an American flag, viewed from below, flying from a pole at full staff against a background of trees that evoke one of the four seasons of the year.
The stamp art, gouache on illustration board, is the work of Laura Stutzman, who used her personal photographs of the flag as art reference. The art director was Phil Jordan.
These stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
Johnny Cash (1932–2003) is best remembered internationally as a country music artist, but we feel his influence just about everywhere—from rock and folk to blues and gospel. His stamp is being issued this year as part of the exciting new Music Icons stamp series.
Resembling the appearance of a 45 rpm record sleeve, the square stamp features a photograph taken by Frank Bez during the photo session for Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash (1963). In the photo, Cash stares out at the viewer through a veil of shadow, his brooding expression fitting for an artist known to so many people simply as “the Man in Black.”
Cash found inspiration for his music in the stories of outlaws and laborers, and in his own life experience. A child of the Depression, he grew up in rural Arkansas, and the culture of that time and place—especially the Bible and gospel and country music—remained with him all his life. Themes of redemption, loneliness, love, loss, and death colored his music with a gritty realism that differed markedly from other socially conscious popular music. “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die,” he sings famously in “Folsom Prison Blues.”
By the 1960s, Cash had become one of the top names in country music, with a string of hits that included “Cry, Cry, Cry,” “I Walk the Line,” and the Grammy award-winning “A Boy Named Sue.” Though his popularity waned in the 1970s and 1980s, Cash made a remarkable resurgence in the 1990s, culminating in several more Grammy awards. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
Greg Breeding served as art director and designer for the stamp.
The Johnny Cash stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
Name and likeness under license from the John R. Cash Revocable Trust.
The U.S. Postal Service commemorates the 500th anniversary of the naming of Florida with the release of stamps that celebrate the state’s floral abundance. During the Easter season of 1513, Spanish explorers first visited the state we now know as Florida. They named the land "La Florida" for Pascua Florida ("Feast of the Flowers"), Spain’s Easter celebration, and for the verdant display of vegetation that they could see from their ship.
The four se tenant stamps contain a cascade of blossoms that evokes the feeling of a tropical garden. Each stamp shows a particular variety of flower: red and pink hibiscus; yellow cannas; morning glories in white, red, and shades of purple; and white and purple passionflowers. The stamp pane includes on the selvage an imagined scene of explorers traveling in a small boat along a river or channel surrounded by tropical foliage.
Flowers are a perennial favorite with collectors and the stamp-buying public, and La Florida’s exquisite blossoms will be an elegant addition to the U.S. Postal Service’s tradition of producing appealing and beautiful floral stamp art.
Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp, with floral art by Steve Buchanan. La Florida stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
The 36th stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Althea Gibson (1927–2003), a pioneering tennis player who became the first black Wimbledon champion. The tall, lean Gibson was fast, had a long reach, and relied on a booming serve and precise volleys. She blazed a trail for a future generation of African-American players, such as Arthur Ashe and sisters Venus and Serena Williams.
The oil-on-wood painting featured on the stamp is based on a photograph—taken at Wimbledon—of Gibson bending down to hit a low volley. The first black tennis player to win one of the four major singles tournaments, Gibson helped integrate her sport at the height of the civil rights movement. She twice won Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships (now known as the U.S. Open) and became the top-ranked player in the world.
Designed by Derry Noyes, the stamp features the artwork of Kadir Nelson.
The Althea Gibson stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp in self-adhesive sheets of 20. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
The War of 1812:
Battle of Lake Erie
The War of 1812, sometimes called “the forgotten conflict,” was a two-and-a-half-year confrontation with Great Britain that brought the United States to the verge of bankruptcy and disunion. With this 2013 issuance, the U.S. Postal Service continues its commemoration of the bicentennial of a war that ultimately helped forge our national identity and gave us our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The stamp’s subject for the second year of the war is the Battle of Lake Erie, which took place on September 10, 1813. For the stamp design, the Postal Service selected William Henry Powell’s famous painting, Battle of Lake Erie. The oil-on-canvas painting, completed in 1873, was commissioned by the U.S. Congress and placed at the head of the east stairway in the Senate wing of the Capitol. It depicts Oliver Hazard Perry in the small boat he used to transfer from his ruined flagship, the Lawrence, to the Niagara.
To evoke the times, the color and texture of a contemporary map of the war is used for the stamp sheet’s background. A 19th-century engraving of Perry by William G. Jackman (after John Wesley Jarvis) appears in the margin of the verso text.
After boarding and taking command of the Niagara, Perry attacked and demolished the British ships Detroit and Queen Charlotte. He then penned one of the most memorable phrases of the war in a report to General William Henry Harrison: "We have met the enemy and they are ours.”
Perry’s triumph gave the U.S. control of Lake Erie and allowed the army to recover ground lost early in the war. The British and their Indian allies abandoned their outposts on the Detroit frontier and retreated up the Thames River deeper into Upper Canada. General Harrison pursued them and won the Battle of the Thames on October 5, 1813, less than a month after Perry’s remarkable victory.
Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp.
The War of 1812: Battle of Lake Erie stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp in self-adhesive sheets of 20. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
Courtesy U.S. Senate Collection.
There’s something about lighthouses. They fascinate us; they enchant us; they draw us in. Utilitarian yet majestic, these structures achieve a beauty and romance that reach far beyond their practical natures. Recognizing our love affair with these lonely sentinels, the U.S. Postal Service has released a series of stamps celebrating our nation’s lighthouses.
New England Coastal Lighthouses features five lighthouses: Portland Head, Cape Elizabeth, Maine; Portsmouth Harbor, New Castle, New Hampshire; Point Judith, Narragansett, Rhode Island; New London Harbor, New London, Connecticut; and Boston Harbor, Boston, Massachusetts. Each stamp shows a close-up view of one of the five lighthouses that captures not only the down-to-earth aspect of the tower but also the mysterious qualities that compel us to come closer.
These five lighthouses are among the oldest in the U.S., and each is on the National Register of Historic Places. Boston Harbor Light is also a National Historic Landmark.
Howard Koslow created original paintings for New England Coastal Lighthouses stamp art—and for the entire lighthouse series. Howard E. Paine and Greg Breeding served as art directors.
The New England Coastal Lighthouses stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
Folk Art Eagle Stamped
At once both elegant and bold, the Folk Art Eagle Stamped Envelope continues a proud tradition of depicting eagles on postage that began in the late 19th century.
This stamped envelope features a photograph of a plaque that shows an eagle carrying two American flags and a shield. Made from pinewood by an unknown carver, the plaque is finished with red, white, and blue paint and appears to have its original gilding.
Whether shown on the Great Seal of the United States, portrayed majestically in flight, or seen while perched atop a mountain ledge, the eagle has long been associated with patriotism. Since its adoption as our national symbol in 1782, countless artists and artisans have worked eagle motifs into paintings, pottery, furniture, courthouse decorations, quilt patterns, wood carvings, weather vanes, and other functional and decorative objects.
The Folk Art Eagle Stamped Envelope, designed by art director Richard Sheaff, is being issued as a Forever® stamped envelope. Its postage will always be equal to the value of the First-Class Mail one-ounce rate in effect at the time of use, even if the rate increases after purchase.
The U.S. Postal Service proudly honors inspiring musician Ray Charles with a stamp, one of several that inaugurates the Music Icons series. This extraordinary composer, singer, and pianist, blind since childhood, went beyond category, blending blues, gospel, country, jazz, and soul music in a unique and highly influential pop music style. His many hits included “I’ve Got a Woman,” “Georgia on My Mind,” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”
The stamp art features an image of Charles, taken later in his career, by photographer Yves Carrère. The stamp sheet was designed to evoke the appearance of a 45 rpm single peeking out of a record sleeve above the stamps themselves. On the reverse side, the sheet includes a larger version of the photograph featured in the stamp art as well as the logo for the Music Icons series.
Looking back over the course of his long career, there seemed to be little Charles couldn’t do. His work spanned almost the entire breadth of American music and brought him 17 Grammy Awards, plus an award for lifetime achievement in 1987. His many other prizes include the National Medal of Arts, awarded in 1993, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986. That same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He performed at the White House many times for several different presidents.
Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the stamp sheet with designer Neal Ashby. The Ray Charles stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
All rights to the name and likeness of Ray Charles are owned by The Ray Charles Foundation. Photo © MEPHISTO
Vintage Seed Packets
Flowers are among the most popular subjects on stamps, and the U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of beautiful issuances with Vintage Seed Packets.
From hand-tinted lithographs in the early 1800s to modern photography, images of floral perfection have adorned flower seed packets for more than a hundred years. The stamp art features ten photographs of antique seed packets (printed between 1910 to 1920), cropped to highlight their beautiful floral detail.
Each of the stamps depicts the colorful blossoms of one kind of flower—cosmos, digitalis, pinks, primrose, calendula, aster, linum, alyssum, phlox, and zinnia. Above each illustration in bold capital letters is the name of the flower depicted.
Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp booklet.
The Vintage Seed Packets stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
Made in America:
Building a Nation
“The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes,” social activist Helen Keller wrote in 1908, “but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” The Made in America: Building a Nation stamps honor the courageous workers who helped build our country.
The sheet features 12 stamps in three rows of four. Eleven of the 12 stamp images were taken by photographer Lewis Hine, a chronicler of early 20th-century industry.
In the top row are an airplane maker, a derrick man on the Empire State Building, a millinery apprentice, and a man on a hoisting ball on the Empire State Building. In the middle row are a linotyper in a publishing house, a welder on the Empire State Building, a coal miner, and riveters on the Empire State Building. (The coal miner stamp is the only one of the 12 that does not feature a Hine photograph. The image is from the Kansas Historical Society.) In the bottom row are a powerhouse mechanic, a railroad track walker, a textile worker, and a man guiding a beam on the Empire State Building.
There are five different sheets available. Each one contains the same stamps, but is anchored by a different selvage photograph. Three of the five selvage photographs were taken by Hine. The Hine images include two Empire State Building iron workers and a General Electric worker measuring the bearings in a casting. The fourth selvage photograph is the same image of the coal miner that appears in the stamp pane. The final selvage photograph, taken by Margaret Bourke-White, depicts a female welder.
Derry Noyes was the project’s art director and designer. The Made in America: Building a Nation stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps in self-adhesive sheets of 12. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.
More to come!