Equality has a stamp of its own as the U.S. Postal Service introduces the 1963 March on Washington limited-edition stamp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic milestone.
For the first time, the postal service unveiled the artwork with the help of the public. Throughout the month, individuals added their photo to the March on Washington stamp on the U.S. Postal Service's stamps Facebook page to help reveal a small piece of the stamp.
During the First-Day-of-Issuance ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 23, actress Gabrielle Union added her Twitter profile photo to the mosaic to reveal the final piece.
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), the last surviving speaker at the march, joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund President and CEO Wade Henderson; U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr.; Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman and Union to officially dedicate the stamp and underscore the importance of the event.
Fifty years ago, on Aug. 28, 1963, nearly a quarter of a million people came together in Washington to participate in the March on Washington for jobs and freedom. It was then that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.
The stamp is the last of three stamps issued this year as part of a civil rights series commemorating courage, strength and equality in America. The first Forever stamp marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in January, while the second stamp honored Rosa Parks on the 100th anniversary of her February birth.
Under the art direction of Antonio Alcal of Alexandria, Va., stamp artist Gregory Manchess, of New York City, depicts marchers against the background of the Washington Monument. Placards calling for equal rights and jobs for all - two principal themes of the march - are displayed. Using broad strokes and painting with oils on gessoed illustration board, Manchess conveys an impressionistic effect of the historic occasion.
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local post offices, at the postal store Web site 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:
March on Washington Stamp
P.O. Box 92282
Washington, DC 20090-2282
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 up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, the price is 5 cents each.
All orders must be postmarked by Oct. 23.
Kathleen Swanson is a spokeswoman for U.S. Postal Service.