This year, the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp honoring Hispanic actor Jose Ferrer. This year's theme for Hispanic Heritage Month is "Diversity united, building America's future today."
The theme promotes the benefits of a united and diverse workforce by encouraging reflection on Hispanic-American contributions to the U.S. The Postal Service has more than 55,000 employees of Hispanic descent.
Observance of Hispanic heritage began in 1968, when Congress passed a law designating the week including Sept. 15-16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. By incorporating these dates, the law celebrated the anniversaries of national independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico.
In 1988, Congress amended the law, expanding the observance to a month and giving it the name it has today.
The Jose Ferrer commemorative stamp is available in one design in a pressure-sensitive adhesive pane of 20 stamps. They are on sale nationwide.
The stamp honors actor, director, writer, musician and producer Jose Ferrer (19121992) in its Distinguished Americans series. Considered one of the most versatile talents of his generation, Ferrer performed on stage and in more than 60 films.
Ferrer won the first Tony Award for Best Actor - in 1947, the inaugural year for the awards - for playing poet Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway; and for the 1950 film version, he won the Oscar for Best Actor, the first for a Latino. He remains one of the few actors to ever win both awards for playing the same character on stage and on film.
The portrait featured on the stamp is an oil painting by Daniel Adel, based on a photograph of Ferrer. Verso text appears on the back of the stamp sheet.
Mr. Zip's tip
The Postal Service is part of the fabric of this nation. Postal employees make a difference in every community across the country.
Debra Mitchell is a spokeswoman for U.S. Postal Service.