Great Americans series

Great Americans series

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The Great Americans series is a set of definitive stamp
Definitive stamp
A definitive stamp is a postage stamp, that is part of a regular issue of a country's stamps available for sale by the postal service for an extended period of time...

s issued by the United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

, starting on December 27, 1980 with the 19¢ stamp depicting Sequoyah
Sequoyah
Sequoyah , named in English George Gist or George Guess, was a Cherokee silversmith. In 1821 he completed his independent creation of a Cherokee syllabary, making reading and writing in Cherokee possible...

, and continuing through 2002, the final stamp being the 78¢ Alice Paul
Alice Paul
Alice Stokes Paul was an American suffragist and activist. Along with Lucy Burns and others, she led a successful campaign for women's suffrage that resulted in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.-Activism: Alice Paul received her undergraduate education from...

 self-adhesive stamp. The series, noted for its simplicity and elegance, is a favorite of stamp collectors
Stamp collecting
Stamp collecting is the collecting of postage stamps and related objects. It is one of the world's most popular hobbies, with the number of collectors in the United States alone estimated to be over 20 million.- Collecting :...

. It is being supplanted by the Distinguished Americans series
Distinguished Americans series
The Distinguished Americans series is a set of definitive stamps issued by the United States Postal Service which was started in 2000 with a 10¢ stamp depicting Joseph Stilwell...

 which started in 2000.

The basic design of the stamps has much in common with the predecessor Americana series
Americana series
The Americana series was a series of United States definitive postage stamps issued between 1975 and 1981. Denominations ranged from one cent to five dollars. It superseded the Prominent Americans series, and was in turn superseded by the Great Americans series and the Transportation coils...

 and the contemporaneous transportation coils
Transportation coils
The Transportation coils series is a set of definitive stamps issued by the United States Postal Service between 1981 and 1995. Officially dubbed the "Transportation Issue" or "Transportation Series", they have come to be called the "transportation coils" because all of the denominations were...

; the few elements consisting only of portrait, name, possibly occupation/notability, inscription "USA", and denomination, in a single color on a white background.

The range of subjects was much broader than the previous Prominent Americans series
Prominent Americans series
The Prominent Americans series is a set of definitive stamps issued by the United States Post Office Department between 1965 and 1978....

 or Liberty Issue
Liberty Issue
The Liberty issue was a definitive series of postage stamps issued by the United States between 1954 and 1965. It offered twenty-four denominations, ranging from a half-cent issue showing Benjamin Franklin to a five dollar issue depicting Alexander Hamilton...

. Where the predecessors focused mainly on political figures, the subjects of the Great Americans series were well-known from a number of diverse fields and ethnicities. Only two presidents were subjects of the series: Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 and Harry Truman. Balancing the diminished role of presidents was an enormous increase in the prominence of women. No fewer than fifteen appear among the Great Americans—a significant contrast to earlier definitive issues: for in the Prominent Americans series of 1965-78, females had appeared on only two denominations, while the definitives of 1902, 1922-25, 1938 and 1954-65 (the Liberty Issue) had each presented one, and only one, famous American woman.

Stamps of the series, ordered by denomination:
  • Dorothea Dix
    Dorothea Dix
    Dorothea Lynde Dix was an American activist on behalf of the indigent insane who, through a vigorous program of lobbying state legislatures and the United States Congress, created the first generation of American mental asylums...

  • Margaret Mitchell
    Margaret Mitchell
    Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was an American author and journalist. Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937 for her epic American Civil War era novel, Gone with the Wind, which was the only novel by Mitchell published during her lifetime.-Family:Margaret Mitchell was born in Atlanta,...

  • Igor Stravinsky
    Igor Stravinsky
    Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

  • Mary Lyon
    Mary Lyon
    Mary Mason Lyon , surname pronounced , was a pioneer in women's education. She established the Wheaton Female Seminary in Norton, Massachusetts, . Within two years, she raised $15,000 to build the Mount Holyoke School...

  • Henry Clay
    Henry Clay
    Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

  • Paul Dudley White
    Paul Dudley White
    Paul Dudley White , American physician and cardiologist, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the son of Herbert Warren White and Elizabeth Abigail Dudley. White's interest in medicine was sparked early in life, when he accompanied his father, a family practitioner, on rounds and house calls in a...

    , M.D.
  • Carl Schurz
    Carl Schurz
    Carl Christian Schurz was a German revolutionary, American statesman and reformer, and Union Army General in the American Civil War. He was also an accomplished journalist, newspaper editor and orator, who in 1869 became the first German-born American elected to the United States Senate.His wife,...

  • Father Flanagan
    Edward J. Flanagan
    Father Edward Joseph Flanagan was a priest of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. He was the founder of what is arguably the most famous orphanage—Boys Town...

  • 5¢ Pearl Buck
  • Hugo Black
    Hugo Black
    Hugo Lafayette Black was an American politician and jurist. A member of the Democratic Party, Black represented Alabama in the United States Senate from 1927 to 1937, and served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1937 to 1971. Black was nominated to the Supreme...

  • Luis Muñoz Marín
    Luis Muñoz Marín
    Don José Luis Alberto Muñoz Marín was a Puerto Rican poet, journalist, and politician. Regarded as the "father of modern Puerto Rico," he was the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico. Muñoz Marín was the son of Luis Muñoz Rivera, a renowned autonomist leader...

  • Walter Lippmann
    Walter Lippmann
    Walter Lippmann was an American intellectual, writer, reporter, and political commentator famous for being among the first to introduce the concept of Cold War...

  • Abraham Baldwin
    Abraham Baldwin
    Abraham Baldwin was an American politician, Patriot, and Founding Father from the U.S. state of Georgia. Baldwin was a Georgia representative in the Continental Congress and served in the United States House of Representatives and Senate after the adoption of the Constitution.-Minister:After...

  • Henry Knox
    Henry Knox
    Henry Knox was a military officer of the Continental Army and later the United States Army, and also served as the first United States Secretary of War....

  • Sylvanus Thayer
    Sylvanus Thayer
    Colonel and Brevet Brigadier General Sylvanus Thayer also known as "the Father of West Point" was an early superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point and an early advocate of engineering education in the United States.-Biography:Thayer was born in Braintree, Massachusetts,...

  • 10¢ Richard Russell
    Richard Russell
    -People:*Richard Russell, Sr. , United States judge and chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court*Richard Russell, Jr. , his son, governor and U.S. Senator from Georgia...

  • 10¢ Red Cloud
    Red Cloud
    Red Cloud , was a war leader and the head Chief of the Oglala Lakota . His reign was from 1868 to 1909...

  • 11¢ Alden Partridge
    Alden Partridge
    Alden Partridge, was an American author, legislator, officer, surveyor, an early superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and a controversial pioneer in U.S...

  • 13¢ Crazy Horse
    Crazy Horse
    Crazy Horse was a Native American war leader of the Oglala Lakota. He took up arms against the U.S...

  • 14¢ Sinclair Lewis
    Sinclair Lewis
    Harry Sinclair Lewis was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of...

  • 14¢ Julia Ward Howe
    Julia Ward Howe
    Julia Ward Howe was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, and poet, most famous as the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".-Biography:...

  • 15¢ Buffalo Bill Cody
  • 17¢ Rachel Carson
    Rachel Carson
    Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement....

  • 17¢ Belva Lockwood
  • 18¢ George Mason
    George Mason
    George Mason IV was an American Patriot, statesman and a delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention...

  • 19¢ Sequoyah
    Sequoyah
    Sequoyah , named in English George Gist or George Guess, was a Cherokee silversmith. In 1821 he completed his independent creation of a Cherokee syllabary, making reading and writing in Cherokee possible...

  • 20¢ Ralph Bunche
    Ralph Bunche
    Ralph Johnson Bunche or 1904December 9, 1971) was an American political scientist and diplomat who received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his late 1940s mediation in Palestine. He was the first person of color to be so honored in the history of the Prize...

  • 20¢ Thomas H. Gallaudet
  • 20¢ Harry Truman
  • 20¢ Virginia Apgar
    Virginia Apgar
    Virginia Apgar was an American pediatric anesthesiologist. She was a leader in the fields of anesthesiology and teratology, and effectively founded the field of neonatology...

  • 21¢ Chester Carlson
    Chester Carlson
    Chester Floyd Carlson was an American physicist, inventor, and patent attorney born in Seattle, Washington....

  • 22¢ John J. Audubon
    John James Audubon
    John James Audubon was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his expansive studies to document all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats...

  • 23¢ Mary Cassatt
    Mary Cassatt
    Mary Stevenson Cassatt was an American painter and printmaker. She lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists...

  • 25¢ Jack London
    Jack London
    John Griffith "Jack" London was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone...

  • 28¢ Sitting Bull
    Sitting Bull
    Sitting Bull Sitting Bull Sitting Bull (Lakota: Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake (in Standard Lakota Orthography), also nicknamed Slon-he or "Slow"; (c. 1831 – December 15, 1890) was a Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux holy man who led his people as a tribal chief during years of resistance to United States government policies...

  • 29¢ Earl Warren
    Earl Warren
    Earl Warren was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States.He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring...

  • 29¢ Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

  • 30¢ Frank C. Laubach
  • 32¢ Milton Hershey
  • 32¢ Cal Farley
    Cal Farley
    Cal Farley , called by some "America's Greatest Foster Father," founded in 1939 the residential childcare facility known as Boys Ranch, located near Old Tascosa, a largely otherwise abandoned community in Oldham County north of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle.Farley was honored by the United States...

  • 32¢ Henry R. Luce
  • 32¢ Lila & DeWitt Wallace
    DeWitt Wallace
    DeWitt Wallace , also known as William Roy was a United States magazine publisher. He co-founded Reader's Digest with his wife Lila Wallace and published the first issue in 1922.Born in St...

  • 35¢ Charles Drew
    Charles R. Drew
    Charles Richard Drew was an American physician, surgeon and medical researcher. He researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to...

  • 35¢ Dennis Chavez
    Dennis Chavez
    Dionisio "Dennis" Chavez was a Democratic politician from the U.S. State of New Mexico who served in the United States House of Representatives, and in the United States Senate from 1935 to 1962.-Early life:...

  • 37¢ Robert Millikan
    Robert Millikan
    Robert A. Millikan was an American experimental physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his measurement of the charge on the electron and for his work on the photoelectric effect. He served as president of Caltech from 1921 to 1945...

  • 39¢ Grenville Clark
    Grenville Clark
    Grenville Clark was the writer of the book World Peace Through World Law...

  • 40¢ Claire Chennault
  • 40¢ Lillian Gilbreth
  • 45¢ Harvey Cushing
    Harvey Cushing
    Harvey Williams Cushing, M.D. , was an American neurosurgeon and a pioneer of brain surgery, and the first to describe Cushing's syndrome...

    , M.D.
  • 46¢ Ruth Benedict
    Ruth Benedict
    Ruth Benedict was an American anthropologist, cultural relativist, and folklorist....

  • 50¢ Chester W. Nimitz
  • 52¢ Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

  • 55¢ Alice Hamilton
    Alice Hamilton
    Alice Hamilton was the first woman appointed to the faculty of Harvard University and was a leading expert in the field of occupational health...

    , M.D.
  • 55¢ Justin S. Morrill
  • 56¢ John Harvard
    John Harvard (clergyman)
    John Harvard was an English minister in America whose deathbed bequest to the Massachusetts Bay Colony's fledgling New College was so gratefully received that the school was renamed Harvard College in his honor.-Biography:Harvard was born and raised in Southwark, England, the fourth of nine...

  • 65¢ H. H. "Hap" Arnold
    Henry H. Arnold
    Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold was an American general officer holding the grades of General of the Army and later General of the Air Force. Arnold was an aviation pioneer, Chief of the Air Corps , Commanding General of the U.S...

  • 75¢ Wendell Willkie
    Wendell Willkie
    Wendell Lewis Willkie was a corporate lawyer in the United States and a dark horse who became the Republican Party nominee for the president in 1940. A member of the liberal wing of the GOP, he crusaded against those domestic policies of the New Deal that he thought were inefficient and...

  • 77¢ Mary Breckinridge
    Mary Breckinridge
    Mary Breckinridge was an American nurse-midwife and the founder of the Frontier Nursing Service. She also was known as Mary Carson Breckinridge.She started family care centers in the Appalachian mountains...

  • 78¢ Alice Paul
    Alice Paul
    Alice Stokes Paul was an American suffragist and activist. Along with Lucy Burns and others, she led a successful campaign for women's suffrage that resulted in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.-Activism: Alice Paul received her undergraduate education from...

  • $1.00 Bernard Revel
    Bernard Revel
    Bernard Revel was an Orthodox rabbi and scholar. He served as the first President of Yeshiva College from 1915 until his death in 1940...

  • $1.00 Johns Hopkins
    Johns Hopkins
    Johns Hopkins was a wealthy American entrepreneur, philanthropist and abolitionist of 19th-century Baltimore, Maryland, now most noted for his philanthropic creation of the institutions that bear his name, namely the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the Johns Hopkins University and its associated...

  • $2.00 William Jennings Bryan
    William Jennings Bryan
    William Jennings Bryan was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States...

  • $5.00 Bret Harte
    Bret Harte
    Francis Bret Harte was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California.- Life and career :...


External links

  • Great Americans Issue (1980-1999) National Postal Museum
    National Postal Museum
    The National Postal Museum, located opposite Union Station in Washington, D.C., USA, was established through joint agreement between the United States Postal Service and the Smithsonian Institution and opened in 1993. The museum is located across the street from Union Station, in the building that...

  • American Plate Number Single Society Details of each stamp and further information regarding plate number
    Plate number
    A plate number is a number printed in the margin of a sheet or roll of postage stamps which shows the printing plate used to print the stamps.A plate number is the serial number of a printing plate. It is printed in the selvage or border of a pane of postage stamps. Philatelists and stamp...

    s.