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US Stamps

Commemoratives of 1948
-1949

Thirty-two commemorative US stamps were issued between 1948 and 1949, with twenty-five of them issued during 1948.  This was a period of significant national events in America, combined with the anniversaries of important events in American history. 

Looking back into history, there was a lot going on during the first half of the 19th Century.  Some of these important events were new inventions at the beginning of the industrial age, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the addition of vast new territories to the continental United States, and the discovery of gold in California!  And all of them, in one way or another, were commemorated on US stamps during the late 1940's, as their anniversaries came around.

The Famous Americans Issue type US stamps, first issued in 1940, were continued during this period, featuring the recognition of prominent Americans that have made significant contributions in the development of the United States.

From a philatelic point of view, the number of commemorative US stamps issued during 1948 were excessive, with some of the issues being completely unnecessary.  By 1949 though, the U.S. Post Office Department adopted a new policy of issuing between six and twelve new commemorative US stamps each year, a move that was very appreciated by the bulk of US philatelists.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on January 24, 1948 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Gold in California.

The design of these new US stamps features a depiction of Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California, where gold was discovered on January 24, 1848.  During the next seven years, 300,000 people would travel to California in search of gold.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on April 7, 1948 to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Mississippi Territory.

The design of these new US stamps features a map of Mississippi, the Seal of the Mississippi Territory, and a portrait of Winthrop Sargent (1753-1820), the first Governor of the Mississippi Territory.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on May 28, 1948 in memory of the Four Chaplains.

The Four Chaplains (U.S. Army) were Lieutenant George L. Fox (1900-1943), a Protestant Chaplain, Lieutenant Alexander D. Goode (1911-1943), a Jewish Chaplain, Lieutenant John P. Washington (1908-1943), a Catholic Chaplain, and Lieutenant Clark V. Poling (1910-1943), a Protestant Chaplain.  They gave their lives to save other civilian and military personnel, as the troop ship U.S.A.T. Dorchester sank on February 3, 1943.  They helped other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out.  They joined arms, said prayers, and sang hymns, as they went down with the ship.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on May 29, 1948 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Wisconsin Statehood.

The design features a map on a scroll and a view of the State Capitol.


The 5 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on June 4, 1948 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the arrival of Swedish Pioneers in the Middle West.

The design of these new US stamps depicts a Swedish pioneer, along with a covered wagon, moving West.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on July 19, 1948 to commemorate 100 Years of the Progress of American Women.

The stamp features the portraits of Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947), and Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), leaders in the struggle for women's rights, social reform, abolition, and women's suffrage.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on August 2, 1948 to commemorate a Century of Friendship between the United States and Canada.

The design of these new US stamps features the Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge, connecting Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Falls, New York.  The bridge was first used in 1855.  In 1897, the bridge was dismantled, after it had been replaced by a newer bridge.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on August 9, 1948 to honor Francis Scott Key.

Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) was a Maryland lawyer and the author of the poem, The Star Spangled Banner (1813), which eventually became the national anthem of the United States.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on August 11, 1948 as a salute to the Youth of America and to publicize National Youth Month in September 1948.

The design depicts a girl and a boy carrying text books.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on August 14, 1948 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Oregon Territory.

The design of these new US stamps features a wagon on the Oregon Trail, along with portraits of John McLoughlin and Jason Lee.

John McLoughlin (1784-1857) was the Canadian-born superintendent of the Columbia District of the Hudson Bay Company at Fort Vancouver from 1824 to 1845.  During the 20th Century, he was given the title, Father of Oregon, for his role in supporting the American settlements in the Oregon Territory of the Pacific Northwest.  During the 1840's, he owned a general store in Oregon City, which became famous, as the last stop, on the Oregon Trail.

Jason Lee (1803-1845) was a Canadian-American missionary.  He was the first of the Oregon Missionaries, and he was instrumental in the American settlement of the Oregon Territory.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on September 7, 1948 to honor Clara Barton.

Clarissa (Clara) Barton (1821-1912) was a hospital nurse, teacher, patent clerk, and humanitarian.  She became prominent as a nurse during the American Civil War, and in 1882, she became the founder and first president of the American Red Cross.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on September 9, 1948 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the American Poultry Industry.

The design features a Light Brahma Rooster, the oldest American breed.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on September 22, 1948 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Establishment of Fort Kearny.

The design of these new US stamps features a view of Fort Kearny, Nebraska and a group of pioneers.  The U.S. Army outpost was established in 1848 to provide protection for pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on October 4, 1948 to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the First Volunteer Firemen in America, established by Peter Stuyvesant.

The design of these new US stamps features early and modern fire engines, along with a portrait of Peter Stuyvesant (1612-1672), the Director-General of the Dutch colony of New Netherlands, later the British Colony of New York.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on October 15, 1948 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Migration of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Muscogee, and Seminole American Indian Tribes to the Oklahoma Territory.

The design features a map of the Oklahoma Territory (Indian Territory) and the Seals of the Five American Indian Tribes.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on October 27, 1948 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the organization of the Rough Riders of the Spanish-American War.

The design features the equestrian statue of Captain William O. O'Neill (1860-1898) by Solon H. Borglum (1868-1922), now in Prescott, Arizona.  The Rough Riders were a U.S. Calvary regiment, formed during the Spanish-American War in 1898.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on October 29, 1948 to honor Juliette Gordon Low.

Juliette Gordon Low (1860-1927) was the founder of the Girl Scouts of America.  After having met Lord Baden Powell in 1911, she organized the first troop of Girl Guides in Savannah, Georgia, in 1912.  The name of the new organization was changed to Girl Scouts in 1913, and the headquarters were moved to New York.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on November 9, 1948 to honor Moina Michael.

Moina Michael (1869-1944) was an American professor and humanitarian.  She conceived the idea of using poppies, as a symbol of remembrance, for those that served in World War I.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on September 21, 1948 to honor Gold Star Mothers.

Gold Star Mothers is an organization formed shortly after World War I, to provide support for mothers that have lost sons or daughters serving in the United States military.  Members are allowed to hang banners, containing a star for each family member, in their windows.  A family member on active duty is represented by a blue star, and a family member killed in the line of duty is represented by a gold star.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on November 20, 1948 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Formation of the American Turners Society.

The Turners are members of German-American gymnastics clubs.  Besides the promotion of physical education, the Turners have also been active in public education, in labor movements, and to some extent, in politics.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on November 19, 1948 to commemorate the 85th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

The Gettysburg Address was given by President Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863 at the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four months after the decisive American Civil War Battle of Gettysburg had been fought there.  To this day, Lincoln's ten sentence long, two minute speech, continues to be one of the most moving orations ever delivered.

The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on March 3, 1949 for the 100th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Minnesota Territory.

The design features a pioneer, with a Red River oxcart.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on April 12, 1949 to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.  (Formerly known as Augusta Academy, Liberty Hall Academy, Washington Academy, and Washington College)

The design of these new US stamps features portraits of George Washington, who gave the university a $20,000 endowment in 1796, and Robert E. Lee, the president of the university from 1865 to 1870, along with a view of the main building of the university.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on April 27, 1949 to publicize the First Gubernatorial Election in the Territory of Puerto Rico on November 2, 1948.

The design features a Puerto Rican farmer holding a cogwheel and a ballot box.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the left, was issued on May 23, 1949 to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Founding of Annapolis, Maryland.

The design features a 1718 map of Annapolis and its surrounding area.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above, at the right, was issued on August 29, 1949 for the Final Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic at Indianapolis, Indiana from August 28 to September 1, 1949.

The GAR or Grand Army of the Republic was an association of Union Army veterans of the American Civil War.  By 1949, only sixteen Civil War veterans remained, and only six of them were able to make the trip to Indianapolis, ranging in age from 100 to 108 at the time.




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Commemoratives of 1948-1949






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The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above was issued on August 30, 1948 for the Dedication of the Palomar Mountain Observatory in Southern California.

The Palomar Mountain Observatory is located on Palomar Mountain in San Diego County, about 90 miles Southeast of Los Angeles.  It is operated by the California Institute of Technology, headquartered in Pasadena, California.  The observatory operates several telescopes, with the largest being the famous 200 inch Hale Telescope.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above was issued on November 5, 1948 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Fort Bliss.

Fort Bliss is a U.S. Army Post in the states of New Mexico and Texas, with its headquarters in El Paso, Texas.  With an area of 1,700 square miles, it is the U.S. Army's second-largest military installation, behind the White Sands Missile Range, which is adjacent to Fort Bliss.  The installation is primarily used for missile and artillery training and testing.


Famous

Americans


Types of 1940


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above was issued on January 5, 1948 to honor Dr. George Washington Carver (1864-1943), born into slavery, but rose to become a famous American botanist and inventor.



The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above was issued on July 31, 1948 to honor William Allen White (1868-1944), an American writer and journalist.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above was issued on August 25, 1948 to honor Harlan F. Stone (1872-1946), the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1941 to 1946.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above was issued on November 4, 1948 to honor Will Rogers (1879-1935), the famous American humorist and political commentator.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above was issued on November 20, 1948 to honor Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908), the writer and newspaper publisher.


The 3 C. denomination stamp shown above was issued on October 7, 1949 to honor Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849), the famous Boston-born poet, story writer, and editor.