Few subjects make it on a US postage stamp. Of those that do, only a limited number are printed. In other words, it’s a great honor and, although I don’t collect stamps, I’m always anxious to see new offerings.
Many, like this year’s Early TV Memories are destined to be personal favorites while others will salute our heroes, our nation and our celebrations.
Alaska, Oregon and Hawaii Statehood lead this year’s lineup along with the annual Lunar New Year: Year of the Ox stamp.
Other series stamps will honor Anna Julia Cooper and Gary Cooper.
Anna Julia Cooper is being honored as the 32nd inductee into the Black Heritage series. Cooper (c.1858-1964) was an educator, scholar, feminist and activist who gave voice to the African-American community during the 19th and 20th centuries — from the end of slavery to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.
Gary Cooper becomes the 15th inductee into the Legends of Hollywood series. For decades, Cooper was the all-American hero, whose believable performances and strong, silent appeal brought him a lifetime of fame.
Former Chicago Post Office employee and renowned author Richard Wright (1908-1960) becomes the 25th inductee into the Literary Arts series. Best remembered for his controversial 1940 novel, Native Son, and his 1945 autobiography, Black Boy, Wright drew on a wide range of literary traditions, including protest writing and detective fiction, to craft unflinching portrayals of racism in American society.
Bob Hope will also be honored this year. Hope devoted his life to making people laugh. He is most known for his unwavering commitment — from World War II through Operation Desert Storm — to supporting morale by entertaining military personnel serving overseas. He had a top rated television show on NBC, and also found success on the live stage, in radio shows and in motion pictures. He became one of the most honored and beloved performers of the 20th century.
Edgar Allan Poe, one of America’s most extraordinary poets and fiction writers, will be immortalized on a stamp this year.
Statesman Abraham Lincoln will be honored on a set of stamps portraying the many chapters of his life: Rail-Splitter, Lawyer, Politician and President.
Twelve Civil Rights Pioneers will be commemorated for their courage, commitment and achievements: Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954), Mary White Ovington (1865-1951), J. R. Clifford (1848-1933), Joel Elias Spingarn (1875-1939), Oswald Garrison Villard (1872-1949), Daisy Gatson Bates (1914-1999), Charles Hamilton Houston (1895-1950), Walter White (1893-1955), Medgar Evers (1925-1963), Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977), Ella Baker (1903-1986) and Ruby Hurley (1909-1980).
Love is in the air with Love: King and Queen of Hearts, the latest additions in the Love series. The two stamp designs, one of the King and one of the Queen, are based on images from 18th-century French playing cards. Add to this Wedding Cake, a two-ounce stamp perfect for wedding invitations and Wedding Rings, a new one-ounce stamp intended for use on the RSVP envelope often enclosed with a wedding invitation and thank you cards.
Two more sets in the Flags of our Nation series will be available this year as well. Set 3 of 6 includes Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts Mississippi, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Stars and Stripes. Set 4 of 6 includes Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota and Stars and Stripes. The stamp series — featuring the Stars and Stripes, 50 state flags, five territorial flags and the District of Columbia flag — was launched in 2008.
Other Americana stamps this year feature Gulf Coast Lighthouses:
Matagorda Island, near Port O’Connor, TX; Sabine Pass, near Sabine Pass, LA; Biloxi, in Biloxi, MS; Sand Island, near the entrance to Mobile Bay in Mobile, AL; and, Fort Jefferson, also known as Garden Key Lighthouse, 50 miles west of Key West, FL, in Dry Tortugas Park.
American Treasures: Edward Hopper is the ninth entry in the American Treasures series and features a sunlit painting by Edward Hopper. Painted in oil on canvas around 1930, the piece depicts a boat sailing against the wind near Provincetown, MA.
One of this year’s highlights is sure to be Early TV Memories. The 20 stamp set includes: Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Dinah Shore Show; Dragnet; Ed Sullivan Show; George Burns & Gracie Allen Show; Hopalong Cassidy; The Honeymooners; Howdy Doody; I Love Lucy; Kukla, Fran and Ollie; Lassie; The Lone Ranger; Perry Mason; Phil Silvers Show; Red Skelton; Texaco Star Theater; Tonight Show; Twilight Zone; and, You Bet Your Life.
Four Thanksgiving Day Parade stamps will feature a marching band, large balloons and crowds of delighted onlookers.
Rounding out the year will be United States Supreme Court Justices stamps honoring Justices Joseph Story, Louis D. Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, and William J. Brennan, Jr.; and Nature of America: Kelp Forest, the 11th stamp pane in an educational series focusing on the beauty and complexity of major U.S. plant and animal communities.
The holidays will bring Christmas: Madonna and Sleeping Child by Sassoferrato; Winter Holidays featuring a reindeer, snowman, gingerbread man and toy soldier; Angel with Lute designed from a fragment of a circa-1480 fresco by Melozzo da Forli (1438-1494); and a new Hanukkah and Kwanzaa stamp.
For more information, check the website and send a letter; it’s the perfect and personal way to keep in touch.