USPS announces stamps for 2010

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The list of names among the subjects headlining the 2010 stamp program is a varied by elite group. The U.S. Postal Service announced today 30 new sets of stamps that will be released during the coming year. The stamps will commemorate great volunteers such as Mother Teresa and Katherine Hepburn as well as Western stars Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Stamps will be issued to recognize groups such as the Scouts of America and Abstract Expressionists. And, finally, 2010 will also see additions to the popular “Love” line of stamps and the education series.

USPS will make a welcome addition to the regular line-up of postage options. Later this year, postal customers will benefit from the first stamp designed specifically for oversized or odd-sized greeting cards. On May 17, the Postal Service will issue the Monarch butterfly stamp for use on cards and envelopes that require additional postage. An illustration of a generic butterfly will be depicted on the envelopes to remind shoppers to use the new Monarch butterfly stamp.

Here is a list of the stamps that the USPS will issue in 2010:

Mother Teresa

mother-teresa-stampMother Teresa, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work, was known for her compassion toward the poor and suffering. A diminutive Roman Catholic nun and honorary U.S. citizen, she served the sick and destitute of India and the world for nearly 50 years. Her humility and compassion, as well as her respect for the innate worth and dignity of humankind, inspired people of all ages and backgrounds to work on behalf of the world’s poorest populations.

The stamp features a portrait of Mother Teresa painted by award-winning artist Thomas Blackshear II of Colorado Springs, CO and is tentatively planned to go on sale nationwide Aug. 26, Mother Teresa’s birthday.

Negro Leagues Baseball Stamp

The Negro Leagues Baseball stamps, to be issued in June, pay tribute to the all-black professional baseball leagues that operated from 1920 to about 1960. Drawing some of the most remarkable athletes ever to play the sport, the Negro leagues galvanized African-American communities across the country, challenged racist notions of athletic superiority, and ultimately sparked the integration of American sports.

Katharine Hepburn

hepburn-stampThe Legends of Hollywood series honors Katharine Hepburn, one of America’s most fascinating and enduring film stars. Hepburn’s long, illustrious career—and perhaps even more, her independent personality—inspired three generations of Americans. She was, in particular, a role model for women who chose to live life on their own terms. In the words of her niece Katharine Houghton, she “provided hope and inspiration and courage for a whole new generation of women.” The stamp portrait is a publicity still from the filmWoman of the Year (MGM, 1942). The photographer was Clarence S. Bull. The selvage image shows Hepburn as she appeared in the play West Side Waltz. This stamp will be issued May 12.

Cowboys of the Silver Screen

With the issuance of the “Cowboys of the Silver Screen” stamps, the U.S. Postal Service honors four extraordinary performers who helped make the American Western a popular form of entertainment. Film stars from the silent era through the singing era are featured on the stamps: William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers. The stamps go on sale April 17. Freelance illustrator Robert Rodriguez produced the stamp art for these images.

  • William S. Hart (1864-1946) became one of the most popular leading men of the silent film era and frequently played the stalwart, tough-as-nails cowboy, and his favorite horse was a brown and white pinto named Fritz.
  • Tom Mix (1880-1940) was one of the most celebrated Western film stars of the 1920s.
  • For more than two decades, Gene Autry (1907-1998) entertained movie audiences and won the hearts of millions of fans with his distinctive singing style and easygoing personality.
  • Roy Rogers (1911-1998) found great success in show business with his first starring role in a 1938 film, but kept his modest roots as a down-to-earth country boy that Americans couldn’t help but admire.

Lunar New Year

lunar-year-stampOn Jan. 14, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the third of 12 stamps in its Celebrating Lunar New Year series, which began in 2008 with the Year of the Rat. The Year of the Tiger begins on Feb. 14 and ends on Feb. 2, 2011. Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the new series with illustrator Kam Mak, an artist who grew up in New York City’s Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn. They decided to focus on some of the common ways the Lunar New Year Holiday is celebrated. To commemorate the Year of the Tiger, they chose narcissus flowers, considered auspicious at any time of year and thus especially appropriate at this time of renewed hope for the future. The 44-cent stamp will go on sale nationwide Jan. 14 and be dedicated at the El Pueblo Historic Monument in Old Chinatown in Los Angeles.

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

With this stamp featuring an illustration of a snowboarder, the Postal Service continues its tradition of honoring the spirit of athleticism and international unity inspired by the Olympic Games. Illustrator Steve McCracken captures the thrill of one Olympic sport by portraying an airborne snowboarder against the backdrop of a snow-capped mountain. The stamp will be issued Jan. 22 as the XXI Olympic Winter Games convenes Feb. 12-28 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Distinguished Sailors

distinguished-sailors-stampThis stamp honors four sailors who served with bravery and distinction during the 20th century: William S. Sims, Arleigh A. Burke, John McCloy, and Doris Miller.

  • Commander of U.S. naval forces in European waters during World War I, William S. Sims (1858-1936) was an outspoken reformer and innovator who helped shape the Navy into a modern fighting force. The William S. Sims stamp features a detail from a photograph of Sims (1919). Beside the photograph is a depiction of the crest of the destroyer escort USS W. S. Sims (DE-1059), which was commissioned in 1970.
  • After serving as one of the top destroyer squadron commanders of World War II, Arleigh A. Burke (1901-1996) had an equally distinguished postwar career in which he played a major role in modernizing the Navy and guiding its response to the Cold War. The Arleigh A. Burke stamp features a detail from a photograph of Burke (1951). Beside the photograph is a depiction of the crest of the guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), which was commissioned in 1991.
  • Described by a shipmate as “like a bull” who couldn’t be stopped, John McCloy (1876-1945) has the distinction of being one of the few men in the nation’s history to earn two Medals of Honor for separate acts of heroism. The John McCloy stamp features a detail from a photograph of McCloy (circa 1920). Beside the photograph is a depiction of the crest of the destroyer escort, USS McCloy (DE-1038), which was commissioned in 1963.
  • The first African American hero of World War II, Doris Miller (1919-1943) became an inspiration to generations of Americans for his actions at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The Doris Miller stamp features a detail from a photograph of Miller (1942). Beside the photograph is a depiction of the crest of the destroyer escort USS Miller (DE-1091), which was commissioned in 1973.

Mackinac Bridge

The Mackinac Bridge in Michigan is the subject of the 2010 Priority Mail stamp, which goes on sale Feb. 3. The longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere, the Mackinac extends from Mackinaw City at the south end to St. Ignace on the north side. The bridge, nicknamed “Mighty Mac,” connects the two peninsulas of Michigan. Artist Dan Cosgrove used several panoramic photographs of the Mackinac Bridge to create the stamp artwork, which features seagulls flying around the two towers and a large ship passing underneath.

Bixby Creek Bridge

bixy-bridge-stampThe Bixby Creek Bridge in California is the subject of the 2010 Express Mail stamp, which goes on sale nationwide Feb. 3. This bridge was one of the seven classic concrete-arch bridges that eased the way for recreational and commercial travel in California along the Big Sur coast by way of the Carmel-San Simeon Highway, now known as State Highway Route 1. Dedicated in 1932, the Bixby Creek Bridge was named after Charlie Bixby, an early settler in the area. This stamp features a color digital illustration of Bixby Creek Bridge in California, by Dan Cosgrove of Clarendon Hills, Illinois.

Bill Mauldin

Pulitzer prize-winner Bill Mauldin, one of America’s favorite cartoonists, will be honored on a stamp in March. During World War II, military readers got a knowing laugh from Mauldin’s characters Willie and Joe, who gave their civilian audience an idea of what life was like for soldiers. After the war, Mauldin became a popular and influential editorial cartoonist winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1945. U.S. Postal Service art director Terry McCaffrey chose to honor Mauldin through a combination of photography and an example of Mauldin’s art.

Flags of Our Nation (Set 4)

flags-stampsIn 2010, the U.S. Postal Service continues its Flags of Our Nation series with 10 more stamp designs that feature the Stars and Stripes plus the states of Montana through North Dakota. In addition to the flag art, each stamp design includes artwork that provides a “snapshot view” of the state or other area represented by a particular flag. In most cases, an everyday scene or activity is shown, but occasionally the view is of something less commonplace—rare wildlife, perhaps, or a stunning vista. Unlike some previous multi-stamp issuances, this series is not limited to official animals, flowers, or products, nor is it meant to showcase well-known buildings, landmarks, or monuments. The stamps will go on sale in April.

Abstract Expressionists

This stamp honors the artistic innovations and achievements of 10 abstract expressionists, a group of artists who revolutionized art during the 1940s and 1950s and moved the U.S. to the forefront of the international art scene for the first time. The stamps go on sale March 11. Abstract expressionism refers to a large body of work that comprised radically different styles, from still, luminescent fields of color to vigorous, almost violent, slashes of paint. In celebration of the abstract expressionist artists of the 20th century, art director Ethel Kessler and noted art historian Jonathan Fineberg (Gutgsell Professor of Art History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) selected ten paintings to feature on this colorful pane of self-adhesive stamps.  Elements from Barnett Newman’s Achilles (1952) were used to frame the stamps.

Love: Pansies in a Basket

love-pansies-stampThe 2010 Love stamp features a white woven basket brimming with purple pansies. Vivid colors, velvety petals, and intriguing “faces” have long made pansies a favorite flower of gardeners and artists. Cards and stamps depicting these graceful blossoms convey sentiments of appreciation, affection, and love. The stamps go on sale in the spring.

The Postal Service began issuing its popular Love stamps in 1973. Over the years these stamps have featured a wide variety of designs, including heart motifs, colorful flowers, and the word “LOVE” itself.

Kate Smith

Kate Smith (1907-1986), the celebrated singer and entertainer whose signature song, “God Bless America” (composed for her by Irving Berlin), has been called America’s unofficial national anthem, is being honored with a stamp that goes on sale in time for the National Hockey League playoffs. The stamp will go on sale May 1.

Sunday Funnies

sunday-funnies-stampsThe Sunday Funnies stamp pane honors Archie, Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes. The stamps will go on sale in July.

  • Offering an idealized portrait of American adolescence, Archie existed only in comic-book form before debuting in newspapers in 1946. A typical small-town teenager with a knack for goofing things up, 17-year-old Archie Andrews is often torn between haughty brunette Veronica Lodge and sweet, blonde Betty Cooper.
  • A military strip with universal appeal, Beetle Bailey first appeared in September 1950. Possibly the laziest man in the Army, Private Beetle Bailey is an expert at sleeping and avoiding work. His chronic indolence antagonizes Sergeant Orville P. Snorkel, who is tough on his men but calls them “my boys.”
  • Dennis the Menace follows the antics of Dennis Mitchell, a good-hearted but mischievous little boy who is perpetually “5-ana-half” years old. His curiosity tests the patience of his loving parents and neighbors, guaranteeing that their lives are anything but dull. The comic debuted in March 1951 as a single-panel gag.
  • Garfield first waddled onto the comics page in June 1978. Self-centered and cynical, the crabby tabby hates Mondays and loves lasagna. He lives with Jon Arbuckle, a bumbling bachelor with a fatally flawed fashion sense, and Odie, a dopey but devoted dog.
  • Calvin and Hobbes explores the fantasy life of 6-year-old Calvin and his tiger pal, Hobbes. The inseparable friends ponder the mysteries of the world and test the fortitude of Calvin’s parents, who never know where their son’s imagination will take him. The strip ran from November 1985 to December 1995.

Oscar Micheaux

The 33rd stamp in the Black Heritage series, to be issued June 22, honors pioneering filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, who wrote, directed, produced and distributed more than 40 movies during the first half of the 20th century. This stamp features a stylized portrait of Oscar Micheaux by Gary Kelley. The artwork is based on one of the few surviving photographs of Micheaux, a portrait that appeared in his 1913 novel The Conquest.


scouting-stampThe U.S. Postal Service celebrates the adventure and spirit of scouting with a stamp that will go on sale July 27 at the Boy Scout’s Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, VA. To create this original design, illustrator Craig Frazier depicted the images of two different scouts in clothing and accessories that are often part of the outdoor scouting experience—hats, packs, boots, and binoculars. At first glance, one sees the large silhouette of a scout peering through binoculars. Within this figure is another scout perched atop a mountain taking in the vista.

Winslow Homer

The ninth issuance in the American Treasures series features Boys in a Pasture, an 1874 painting by Winslow Homer, considered one of the greatest American painters of the 19th century. The painting is part of the Hayden Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This stamp will go on sale Aug. 12.

Julia de Burgos

juia-burgos-stampWith this 26th stamp in the Literary Arts stamp series, the Postal Service honors Julia de Burgos, one of Puerto Rico’s most celebrated poets. A revolutionary writer, thinker, and activist, de Burgos wrote more than 200 poems that probe issues of love, feminism, and political and personal freedom. Her groundbreaking works combine the intimate with the universal. They speak powerfully to women, minorities, the poor, and the dispossessed, urging them to defy constricting social conventions and find their own true selves. The stamp features a portrait of de Burgos created by artist Jody Hewgill. The stamp goes on sale in September.

Holiday Evergreens

Decorating with evergreens during the winter holiday season is a popular and appealing tradition. The Postal Service joins in the winter celebrations by issuing Holiday Evergreens, beautiful new stamps that feature close-up views of the foliage and cones of four different conifers: ponderosa pine, eastern red cedar, blue spruce, and balsam fir. The stamps go on sale in October. The artist, the late Ned Seidler, was a gifted painter of nature subjects. When painting flora, he frequently used cuttings from his own yard.

Hawaiian Rain Forest

hawaiian-rainforest-stampThe 2010 Nature of America issuance features the Hawaiian Rain Forest, the 12th stamp pane in an educational series focusing on the beauty and complexity of major plant and animal communities in the United States. Located in the north-central Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Islands are more than 2,000 miles from any continental landmass, a fact that has allowed many unique species to develop and thrive here. According to some estimates, over 90 percent of Hawaii’s 20,000 native terrestrial species are found nowhere else on Earth. The stamp will go on sale in August.

Angel with Lute

This stamp features an angel playing a lute from a fresco painted by Melozzo da Forli (1438-1494). The original fresco fragment, now in Room IV of the Vatican Pinacoteca (art museum), measures approximately 37 inches by 46 inches. The fragment shown on the stamp and thirteen other surviving fragments from the fresco are on display in Room IV of the Vatican Pinacoteca (art gallery) in Rome. The stamp goes on sale in October.

The United States Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. For more information about the stamps in the 2010 series, visit


8 Responses to “USPS announces stamps for 2010”
  1. Gina Marie Mangiamele says:

    Bravo!! Bravo!! Releasing a stamp on Mother Teresa is the best idea ever. She was a remarkable woman, a true gift to this world. Turn a deaf ear to the idiots who reject this stamp like the group Freedom from Religion. These rediculous people can’t even appreciate the wonderful acts of Mother Teresa. Ungrateful communist, they are.

    Go ahead with that stamp. You’ll make more money than ever on any one stamp. I promise. I personally will only purchase those stamps.!!!

    Thank you for this initiative. Bravo to you all! I look forward to purchasing my 1000 stamps.

  2. Nancy Kern says:

    I recently received an email stating that the USPS is issuing a stamp honoring a Muslim holiday. Is this true? It was supposedly requested by Pres. Obama.

    • Editor says:

      Obama had nothing to do with the stamp which honors two Muslim holidays, including Eid al-Fitr, the first day following the month of Ramadan, a period of fasting and religious observances. The Eid stamp was first announced during President George W. Bush’s administration, on Aug. 1, 2001.

      That bogus email has been circulating the web. Learn more about the misinformation here:

  3. Brooks Goddard says:

    I can’t wait for the Negro Leagues stamps to be issued. The artist Kadir Nelson illustrated this great book We Are the Ship. I think Nancy Kern would love these stamps, too. Nelson has recently published illustrations for Mama Miti, the story of tree planting in Kenya. It would be helpful to publish now the release dates for all the 2010 stamps.

  4. Bill Gennrich says:

    Is there a website where a schedule of new issue release dates is available? Would be helpful. Thanks.

  5. Ed Geisler says:

    Why not a stamp for the Pennsylvania State Flag ship “NIAGARA” – honoring
    the 1813 victory over the British on Lake Erie?

  6. JB says:

    Why don’t they have a birthday stamp? I almost never have to actually mail anything anymore except birthday party invitations. I wish they had a fun stamp for those occassions.

  7. John says:

    The Scouting stamp is a disappointment. This is the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouts of America and it isn’t even noted on the stamp.