Get Memorial Day weekend off to a grand start as the United States Postal Service and the United States Army celebrate the life and legacy of renowned singer and Washington, DC, native Kate Smith, who is being immortalized on a new 44-cent U.S. postage stamp.
John E. Potter, postmaster general and chief executive officer, U.S. Postal Service
Dr. Joseph W. Westphal, under secretary of the Army
Brass Quintet, United States Army Band
Sergeant First-Class Leigh Ann Hinton, United States Army Band
Members of the Kate Smith Commemorative Society
Thursday, May 27, 2010, 11:00 a.m.
The Lincoln Memorial
at Reflecting Pool Steps
Intersection of Independence Avenue and 23rd Street, SW
On May 27, the Postal Service honors Kate Smith (1907-1986), a much beloved singer and entertainer best known for her rendition of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.” A native of Washington, DC, Smith won amateur singing contests as a youth and was invited to sing at a White House dinner. After moving to New York to pursue a career in show business, she became a radio star in the early 1930s—popular for her homespun personality as well as for her singing. During World War II, polls ranked her as one of the most important women in America. In the early 1950s, she hosted a daytime television show, the Kate Smith Hour, as well as a prime time show, the Kate Smith Evening Hour. In 1973, toward the end of her career Smith sang “God Bless America” at Philadelphia Flyers hockey games. Philly fans considered her a good luck charm as the Flyers won two Stanley Cups and other big games when she sang. The team later erected a bronze statute of her outside the Spectrum arena.
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A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars. With 36,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, the Postal Service relies on the sale of postage, products and services to pay for operating expenses. Named the Most Trusted Government Agency five consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $68 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 26th in the 2008 Fortune 500.