Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Stamps & Covers
  USPS now honoring living people on stamps

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   USPS now honoring living people on stamps
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-26-2011 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced Monday (Sept. 26) that it is dropping its long-standing rule that stamps cannot feature people who are still alive, and is asking the public to offer suggestions on who should be first.
Americans will soon be seeing acclaimed musicians, sports stars, writers, artists and other nationally known figures on U.S. postage stamps — while they are still alive.

The Postal Service is dropping a rule that requires an individual to be deceased for at least five years before being honored on a stamp. Under the new guidelines, living or recently deceased individuals could be eligible for commemoration on a stamp as soon as next year, and we want your input.

We invite you to submit the top five living people you would like to see on a stamp. Send us your ideas via Facebook and Twitter.

Your suggestions will be reviewed by the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, the group responsible for recommending stamp subjects to the Postmaster General. To read more about CSAC and the stamp selection process, and to view the current selection criteria, visit the USPS website.

We want our stamp program to be relevant and engaging — a program that reflects the best of our nation. To do that, we need your feedback and support. Help us decide which stamps will most interest you.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-26-2011 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder how the they will balance honoring the deceased with honoring the living.

Using our niche as an example, assuming the USPS was inclined to honor more astronauts, who would they give preference to: the Apollo 1 crew or the Apollo 11 crew? The crew of STS-1 or the crew of STS-51L?

On the one hand, this rule change could pave the way for a stamp honoring John Glenn on the 50th anniversary of his orbital flight. On the other, it could make it easier for the USPS to not honor the STS-107 crew on the 10th anniversary of their loss (for example).

With regards to their current request for a "top 5" list of living people to be honored on stamps, my first take at an all-astronauts list:

  • John Glenn
  • Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin or Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan
  • John Young and Bob Crippen or John Young and Chris Ferguson

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-26-2011 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
On the other, it could make it easier for the USPS to not honor the STS-107 crew on the 10th anniversary of their loss (for example).

A 10-ten anniversary stamp for STS-107 is unlikely, as it would not conform with a couple of still-standing stamp selection criteria:

  • Events of historical significance shall be considered for commemoration on anniversaries in multiples of 50 years.
  • The stamp program commemorates positive contributions to American life, history, and culture; therefore, disasters will not be commemorated on U.S. postage stamps or stationery.

While one could make a valid argument that STS-107 made a positive contribution towards American history (before the disaster took place), one would then need to consider devoting a stamp to each shuttle mission for the same reasons.

manilajim
Member

Posts: 252
From: Bergenfield, NJ USA
Registered: May 2000

posted 09-26-2011 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for manilajim   Click Here to Email manilajim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Somehow they waived the ban on disaster stamps to approve the 911 stamp. Also, there was a "Remember The Maine" stamp. The USPS stamp selection committee seems to do what it wants with "touchy" subjects.

If our manned space program was "manned" with Looney Tunes or Disney characters it would seem that it would be much easier to get stamps produced by the USPS.

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-26-2011 10:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by manilajim:
Somehow they waived the ban on disaster stamps to approve the 911 stamp. Also, there was a "Remember The Maine" stamp. The USPS stamp selection committee seems to do what it wants with "touchy" subjects.

You may be right, but the stamp issued following the 911 attacks was named the "Heroes of 2001" stamp. The idea of the stamp was not to commemorate the attacks, but to celebrate the heroes of that day (and year). I suppose the same justification could be possibly be used to issue stamps of fallen astronauts.

Certain wartime events are also likely fair game for stamps...because they go beyond being disasters and are events that shape the history of the nation. Hence the Maine explosion could be considered appropriate for a stamp, whereas something like Hurricane Katrina would likely not be suitable.

cddfspace
Member

Posts: 597
From: Morris County, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 09-27-2011 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cddfspace   Click Here to Email cddfspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We invite you to submit the top five living people you would like to see on a stamp.
Sounds like a good project for the cS team to get behind! So many outstanding people to choose from...

Who is in your top 5? Here's mine:

  • Neil Armstrong
  • John Glenn
  • Jim Lovell
  • John Young
  • Sally Ride
Editor's note: Threads merged.

MarylandSpace
Member

Posts: 961
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 09-27-2011 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmm, interesting question: Who would be my top five choices of living persons to be on a U.S. postage stamp.

Top choice: John Glenn

Other choices: Neil Armstrong, Jimmy Carter, Henry Aaron, and Dr. C. Everett Koop.

I have briefly met John Glenn and Neil Armstrong, and Jimmy Carter, Hank Aaron, and Dr. Koop are on my bucket list of people I would like to meet.

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-27-2011 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
  1. John Glenn - 50th Anniversary of Friendship 7 in 2012.
  2. Neil Armstrong
  3. The Beatles - Not American, but made a big impact on American culture in the 1960s. 50th Anniversary of their "invasion" of the USA in 2014.
  4. Hank Aaron
  5. Bob Dylan

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-27-2011 05:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space-related? A series of 58 stamps, with individual stamps showing the astronauts on the first and last crews of Enterprise (in this case, both crews, 4 astronauts), Columbia (9 astronauts), Challenger (11 astronauts), Discovery (12 astronauts), Atlantis (9 astronauts) and Endeavour (13 astronauts), all in (belated) commemoration of the end of the space shuttle program.

Bobko would be the only astronaut in this series honored twice.

manilajim
Member

Posts: 252
From: Bergenfield, NJ USA
Registered: May 2000

posted 09-27-2011 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for manilajim   Click Here to Email manilajim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would like to see the USPS put out a series of stamps that portray the mission patches.

NAAmodel#240
Member

Posts: 138
From: Charleston, SC USA
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 09-28-2011 07:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NAAmodel#240   Click Here to Email NAAmodel#240     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On numerous ocassions the USPS has put out a sheet of 50 different designs (birds, flags, states, etc). With that much real estate they could honor the first 43 astronauts, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Shuttle, von Braun, Kennedy, and NASA.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-28-2011 07:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think we could all list off space subjects we'd like (or not like) to see on U.S. stamps. The fleeting opportunity here is to influence who will be among the first living individuals to be honored with a U.S. postage stamp.

Given the timing of his flight's 50th anniversary, and his service to the nation, it would seem more than appropriate to include John Glenn among the first five to be chosen for stamps.

Even better would be for the USPS to use this opportunity to honor all seven original Mercury astronauts, either with one stamp or a set of seven. It would be a fitting way to follow-up on this year's Alan Shepard stamp.

But the USPS seems focused on picking five living people to honor individually. I would encourage readers and members who haven't yet done so to use Twitter or Facebook (links above) to suggest their list of five, and if so inclined, make the case for John Glenn to be among them.

DChudwin
Member

Posts: 972
From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 01-08-2012 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
February 20, 1962 marked the first U.S. manned orbital spaceflight. John Glenn in his Friendship 7 capsule was launched into orbit by an Atlas rocket (Mercury-Atlas 6). That same day a U.S. 4 cent postage stamp (Scott 1193) printed in secret was issued at post offices around the country.

Now, 50 years later, will history repeat itself?

First, some background from a Wikipedia article about the 1962 stamp:

The Post Office Department honored this first orbital flight of a United States astronaut on February 20, 1962, when it released the Project Mercury commemorative stamp, placed on sale throughout the country at the exact hour Colonel John Glenn's historic flight officially had returned to Earth safely.

This issue has somewhat of an unusual history. It was one of the first issues printed on the new Giori Press (named after its inventor, Gualtiero Giori). It employed a series of specially cut rubber rollers that applied two or three different colored inks on the same printing plate. As the new press was being used to print the Project Mercury stamp before the mission took place and in case the mission failed or was canceled, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing kept word about the new press and the stamp issue's production a secret. To further assure that the project be kept secret the designer of this issue, Charles R. Chickering, worked from his home and simply claimed that he was away on vacation. The stamps, waiting at post offices around the U.S., were sealed and marked "Top Secret". Only after Glenn's trip were the postmasters allowed to open the package and see what was inside.

The Project Mercury mission was indeed a success and on February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Right after Glenn's safe return, the Post Office released the Project Mercury stamp. It became the first U.S. commemorative stamp issued nearly at the same time as the event occurred, released the exact hour the flight was officially completed.

The stamp features an image of the Mercury Friendship 7 capsule circling the earth, against a field of stars. The spacecraft is now housed at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC. Because the event was deemed so popular the number of quantities issued totaled more than 289 million, more than twice the average amount of quantities issued for commemorative postage issues of that time.
Flash forward almost 50 years. On September 26 of last year Postmaster General Donahoe announced that the USPS would start introducing stamps honoring living or recently deceased individuals. Previously, people needed to be dead for at least five years before a stamp could be issued. Later discussions by postal service executives suggested that the first stamp honoring a living person would come in 2012.

I speculate that the first living person to be honored will the be the 90 year-old John Glenn on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Friendship 7 on February 20.

Now one might object that the USPS stamp calendar does not include such a stamp. Normally I would agree with this objection -- but what was the only other U.S. stamp prepared in secret?

It may be wishful thinking, but I hope such a stamp will be issued next month. Col. Glenn is a hero in my eyes and deserves recognition for his decades of service to the U.S. as a Marine aviator, astronaut, and U.S. Senator.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-13-2013 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Linn's Stamp News (May 27, 2013 issue), the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee has reversed its decision to honor living people on U.S. stamps, bowing to pressure from the Postal Service's board of governors.
The board directed [Postmaster General Patrick] Donahoe not to issue any stamps for living people, saying that was too controversial a step.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement