A Stamp to Make FDR Proud

Stamps to make philatelists proud. Photo courtesy Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

Over at his Postlandia blog, our New York Regional Director Evan Kalish reports from the First-Day stamp ceremony at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York. There, on March 7, “a crowd of 175 gathered to celebrate the issuance of ten WPA Poster-themed Forever postage stamps.” These new stamps, replicating WPA Posters “produced by a division of an arts program, which was known as Federal Project No. 1,” commemorate an under-appreciated element of the New Deal. Indeed, along with shaping things, the WPA shaped culture by giving employment to out-of-work artists. As Evan writes, “WPA artists also created posters that were displayed in public places. These posters encouraged exploration of America’s landmarks and natural treasures, ‘education, health, conservation and other civic ideals’ (USPS). Two million posters of approximately 35,000 designs were produced. Ten of these designs are commemorated with the new WPA Posters stamp issue.” Click here to read the full post and learn more about the artwork being celebrated, the celebration’s featured speakers, the state of New Deal construction and artwork in FDR’s native Hudson Valley, and even FDR’s own philately (pictured here). And don’t forget to purchase your own booklet of WPA Poster stamps.

Gabriel Milner is Project Manager for The Living New Deal. He is a trained cultural historian who teaches courses in U.S. History at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University.

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