Monday, August 26, 2013

USPS Unveils 1963 March on Washington Limited Edition Forever Stamp

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Thurgood Marshall Jr.; Congressman John Lewis; US District Judge Alexander Williams; Actress Gabrielle Union; Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman; President & CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Wade Henderson; Entertainer Joe Coleman; and VP, Sales & Marketing, Newseum Scott Williams

“Equality has a stamp of its own” as on Friday, August 23, 2013, the US Postal Service (USPS), with the help of Georgia Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis and Actress Gabrielle Union, unveiled its’ “1963 March on Washington” (MOW) Forever Stamp at the Newseum in Washington, DC.   The limited-edition commemorative stamp observing the march’s 50th Anniversary is the last in a trio, joining the “Rosa Parks” and the “150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation” versions that debuted earlier this year.

At the first-day-of-issue ceremony held at the museum, remarks, gratitude and recollections of an era past were shared by Master of Ceremonies US District Judge Alexander Williams; Scott Williams, VP of Sales & Marketing, Newseum; and Wade Henderson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

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Congressman John Lewis speaks to the audience.

Lewis, who is the last surviving speaker from the march, echoed similar sentiments as those on stage and spoke in depth about the planning of the original MOW fifty years ago.  “It is so appropriate and so fitting for the United States Postal Service to issue this Forever stamp on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington,” Lewis said in a released statement.  “The march was one of the turning points in the on-going struggle for civil rights and social justice in America.   In the years to come, when individuals use this stamp, they will be reminded of the distance we have come and the progress we have made as a nation.   And they will be reminded of the civic duty of every American to stand up for what is right in our democracy.”

Before Friday’s event, as a first of its kind effort, USPS encouraged interactive participation by asking those on social media to contribute to the stamp’s virtual artwork by adding a Facebook or Twitter profile photo as a pixel up until just moments before its’ issuance.  Friends and followers received a tweet or message from those in their networks who became part of the mosaic, inviting them to join the movement as well.

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An interactive screen at the 1963 March on Washington Forever Stamp issuance ceremony shows a social media profile photo added to the stamp’s virtual mosaic.

The stamp, under the art direction of Antonio Alcalá and created by artist Gregory Manchess, was then revealed by Ronald A. Stroman, Deputy Postmaster General, Lewis, Union, and others to the audience while concurrently being shown on USPS’ Facebook Page.

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Audience members included Thurgood Marshall, Jr., speaking with Gabrielle Union

The Newseum was a fitting location as the 250,000 square foot museum has two related exhibits: ‘Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement’ exploring “the new generation of student leaders in the early 1960s who fought segregation by making their voices heard and exercising their First Amendment rights” and ‘Civil Rights at 50’ which “chronicles milestones…from 1963, 1964 and 1965 through historic front pages, magazines and news images.”

To learn more about the USPS’s newest 1963 March On Washington stamp and the entire civil rights series, or to purchase, please visit

Story submitted by Stacey Trammel.  Follow her on Twitter @Buzzology.

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