Over the years, postage stamps have become more and more creative, colorful, and interesting. And they have become a historical representative of events, people, and things the American people have come to remember. 2011 brings another wide variety of stamps for the public to enjoy. All one-ounce, commemorative first-class stamps being issued will be "forever" stamps.
Individuals being honored on stamps include Ronald Reagan (100th anniversary of his birth), Helen Hayes (considered to be the First Lady of the American Theatre), Gregory Peck (one of America's most respected actors), Mark Twain (prolific and beloved author), Edward Hopper (painter and seaman), Barbara Jordan (American politician), and Romare Bearden (American artist).
Individuals recognized on groups of stamps include Latin Music Legends (Selena, Carlos Gardet, Carmen Miranda, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz), Pioneers of American Industrial Design (Frederick Hurton Rhead, Walter Dorwin Teague, Norman Bel Geddes, Raymond Loewy, Donald Deskey, Gilbert Rohde, Greta von Nessen, Russel Wright, Henry Dreyfuss, Peter Muller-Munk, Dave Chapman, and Eliot Noyes), American Scientists (Melvin Calvin, Asa Gray, Maria Goeppert Mayer, and Severo Ochoa), and Send a Hello (Pixar characters Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars, Remy the rat and Linguini from Ratatouille, Buzz Lightyear and two of the three, three-eyed aliens from Toy Story, Carl Fredricksen and Dug from Up, and the robot WALL*E from WALL*E).
Stamps celebrating various historical events include Kansas Statehood (150th anniversary), Civil War (two stamps commemorating the 150th anniversary), Mercury Messenger (two stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of America's first manned spaceflight), Indianapolis 500 (centennial of the automobile race held since 1911), Owney the Postal Dog (the canine mascot of the Railway Mail Service at the end of the 19th Century), Wedding Roses (part of the Wedding series), and Holiday Baubles (cheery Holiday stamps featuring four colorful ornaments).
Still other stamps being issued include Jazz Appreciation (America's musical gift to the world), Neon Celebrate (congratulatory wishes to good times being celebrated), Purple Heart (an updated version of the original stamp issued in 2003), Garden of Love (ten different stamps depicting a colorful mosaic of flora and fauna in a garden setting), U.S. Merchant Marine (four stamps paying tribute to the U.S. Merchant Marine), Flags of Our Nation-Set 5 (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the states alphabetically of Ohio through Tennessee).
For more information about purchasing stamps, stamps by mail, postal regulations, a free subscription to USA Philatelic magazine, Post Office events, the location of the nearest postal store or contract unit, or for answers to your specific Postal Service questions, contact USPS at 1-800-275-8777, or visit www.usps.com. To schedule a presentation for your community, club or group on how the Postal Service brings the Post Office to your home or office computer, call 239-573-9638
Mitchell is with the U.S. Postal Service in Fort Myers.