WASHINGTON — Forty-seven years ago today, the “Lady Bird Bill” was signed into law to begin the process of beautifying America’s highways. This and other achievements of former First Lady Bird Johnson will be celebrated Nov. 30 in Austin, TX, when the Postal Service dedicates the Lady Bird Johnson souvenir Forever stamps sheet.
The dedication ceremony, free and open to the public, will take place at 11 a.m. in the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centerof The University of Texas at Austin.
“The Postal Service is proud to issue this historic Forever stamp honoring a beloved First Lady who worked tirelessly to make the United States a more beautiful place,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “Lady Bird Johnson’s legacy lives on along our nation’s roadsides, and urban parks and trails, which she so diligently worked to preserve and beautify, and now on a U.S. postage stamp to commemorate her contributions for forever.”
The stamps can be preordered now for delivery in early December at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP24. To learn more about Lady Bird Johnson, centennial-related events, and to download photos and view a video, visit ladybirdjohnson.org.
The Lady Bird Johnson souvenir sheet features six stamps, a quote from the First Lady reflecting her belief that the environment is our common ground, and a black-and-white image of the First Lady taken from a family photograph shot in 1963 by Yoichi Okamoto. Text on the back of the stamp sheet highlights a few of Lady Bird Johnson’s many successes. The single stamp on the right side of the sheet features her official White House portrait, an oil painting by Elizabeth Shoumatoff showing the seated First Lady wearing an empire-waist gown of buttercup yellow.
The five stamps on the left, adaptations of stamps originally issued in the 1960s commemorate the visible legacy left by her projects — and to encourage others to follow.
The top stamp reads “Plant for more Beautiful Streets” and shows a row of blooming crab apple trees along a paved suburban road.
The second from the top offers the encouragement to “Plant for more Beautiful Parks,” with an image of a field of daffodils along the Potomac River with the Washington Monument in the background.
“Plant for a more Beautiful America,” the center stamp, depicts the Jefferson Memorial in the background seen through branches of flowering cherry blossoms.
The fourth stamp is a scene of yellow and blue wildflowers along a highway with the caption “Plant for more Beautiful Highways.”
The last stamp, which reads “Plant for more Beautiful Cities,” shows plantings of pink and red azaleas and white tulips with the U.S. Capitol in the distance.
The original engraved stamps featuring art by Walter D. Richards (four stamps, issued in 1969) and Gyo Fujikawa (center stamp, issued in 1966) have been adapted for printing in offset lithography by artist Paloma Alcalá of Alexandria, VA.
The Lady Bird Johnson stamps are being issued as Forever stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce rate.
How to Obtain the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Following the Nov. 30 issuance, customers will have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. New stamps may be purchased at Post Offices, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
Lady Bird Johnson Stamp
8225 Cross Park Drive
Austin, TX 78710-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by Jan. 30, 2013.
How to Order First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic Catalog, online at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are seven philatelic products available for this stamp issue:
- 578562 First-Day Cover (Full Pane) $5.20
- 578563 First-Day Cover Set of 6, $5.34
- 578564 First-Day Cancelled (Full Pane) $5.20
- 578568 Digital Color Postmark Set of 6, $9.60
- 578584 Press Sheet without die cuts, $43.20
- 578591 Ceremony Program (random stamp), $6.95
- 578599 Keepsake SS/6 & DCP Set 6, $12.95
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