January 15, 2019

U.S. Postal Service Observes Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday on Jan. 21

1979 15-cent Martin Luther King Jr. stamp.
15¢ Martin Luther King, Jr. Approved Stamp Art by Jerry Pinkney, c. 1979 Loan from the USPS, Postmaster General's Collection to the Smithsonian Institute’s Postal Museum.

CHARLOTTE, NC — The Postal Service observes the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday on Monday, Jan. 21. Post Offices are closed and there is limited delivery of some package products, including Priority Mail Express. All Post Offices will reopen with regular mail delivery, collections, and retail services after the holiday on Jan. 22.

FUN FACT:  How many times has Martin Luther King been featured on US postage?

A:  In 2005, the 10-stamp series “To Form A More Perfect Union” highlighted such events as the 1963 March on Washington and 1965 Selma March.  The sheet featured Dr. King’s picture in the center, as part of the selvage, but his image was not actual postage.

1999 33-cent Martin Luther King Jr. stamp.

A 1999 stamp, then 33 cents, highlighted Dr. King as he presented “I Have A Dream” speech as part of the Celebrate the Century series of stamps featuring landmark events of the 1960s.

On January 13, 1979, Dr. King was honored on the second in the Black Heritage Series of stamps issued by the Postal Service. That stamp was 15 cents.  Illustrator Jerry Pinkney’s designs for the first Black Heritage stamps set the tone for the series and were emulated by later illustrators Thomas Blackshear II and Higgins Bond.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.


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