WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service honors the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by putting its own stamp on raising awareness of our environment and the communities in which we live and serve. The new Earth Day stamps marks five decades of Americans coming together to celebrate the importance of protecting the environment. The Earth Day Stamps will be available for sale nationwide on April 18.
The Postal Service has canceled the first-day-of-issue ceremony for the Earth Day stamp due to social distancing guidance.
On the first Earth Day in 1970, millions of people across America joined to rally against pollution. The event quickly developed into an annual tradition. As time passed, educating children about the environment became a priority, with the annual celebration also providing an opportunity for businesses to showcase new goods and services that are mindful of the environment.
Today, Earth Day remains a high-profile day for people around the world to recognize the importance of the planet and the impact of their environmental footprint. The Earth Day Forever stamp is a reminder for both senders and recipients that we share the atmosphere on our planet.
The Earth Day stamps is being issued in booklets of 20 stamps. Art director Antonio Alcalá created the painting of Earth, using gouache on watercolor paper. The design features small green lines surrounding the blue planet. The title of the stamp runs across the top, and the words “Forever” and “USA” appear along the bottom. Ricky Altizer was the typographer. This Earth Day Stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.
Source of Stamp Background
In the 1950s and 1960s, as the dangers of pollution were becoming a common concern, a groundswell of support began for a day to celebrate the planet. It gained further traction in 1969 after what was then the largest oil spill in U.S. history occurred off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA.
Soon after the spill, Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), a conservationist who championed legislation to protect natural resources, resolved to unite the nation around environmental causes. Senator Nelson inspired thousands of people to organize environmental teach-ins at universities, schools and community centers around the country. April 22, between college spring break and finals, was chosen as the date for a national observance.
Among these politicians was Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. Nelson had witnessed the effects of the Santa Barbara oil spill and wanted to do something to prevent future horrors. At the time, American schools were a hotbed for anti-war protests. He believed that if he could harness that same enthusiasm for the rising interest in air and water pollution, he could make environmental protection a part of the national political agenda.
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