150th Anniversary Of Civil War Is Best Time
To Get Commemorative Stamp For Thaddeus Stevens
By Donald Gallagher
These sesquicentennial years of Civil War / Reconstruction remembrance are the chance of a lifetime
to gain approval for a stamp honoring Thaddeus Stevens.
We have Alex Munro to thank for beginning our stamp campaign years ago . . . and it often takes
years to accomplish -- first proving that our subject is worthy of a postal tribute; then demonstrating
that the Postal Service will be able to sell the millions of stamps printed for a first-class “forever”
The movie "Lincoln" has raised public awareness of Stevens, The Great Commoner, as we never
could have imagined before. Each of us should write a personal note of thanks to scriptwriter Tony
Kushner & director Steven Spielberg.
I can report that every author & historian I’ve contacted supports our efforts, and has become a
stamp proponent, writing to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee and urging approval of a stamp
You can do this too:
Thaddeus Stevens Stamp
Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 3300
Washington, DC 20260-3501
Tell the members of the CSAC [pronounced “see-sack” in the language of abbreviations] not only why
you admire Stevens, but how you intend to use the stamp to tell others about a legendary figure in the
American civil rights struggle.
The status of our appeal to the U.S. Postal Service is presently in limbo, but I believe we can cause
that to change.
Apparently, without notice to us, CSAC members decided not to issue a Stevens stamp during their
quarterly meeting on October 2011 [well before the release of "Lincoln"]. According to the current
rules of the committee, applicants must wait three years following a denial before their subject can be
reconsidered. I should remind you that the Postal Service receives as many as 50,000 suggestions from
the public each year with requests for new stamps, and only 30 -- 40 new commemoratives are issued
I’ve appealed to the Postal Service asking that they not waste the phenomenal interest in Stevens
created by the movie "Lincoln." I’m hopeful because of late the USPS has made frequent changes in
the rules governing approval of stamp subjects & the issuance of new stamps (e.g., a little over a month
ago it was announced that living persons would now be considered for commemoration . . . never
before . . . anything can change.
So write to the committee with your best thoughts about why remembering Thaddeus Stevens is so
important to you; how you want to use the stamp (and will encourage others to do so); and why the
Postal Service should act now. They only accept letters, post cards and petitions through the mail -- no
emails, phone calls, fax messages, voice mails and no personal appearances.
For more information about the stamp selection process, these links are helpful:
[the 28-minute PBS documentary, "American Stamps"]
Contact me with your questions. I’ve made business cards that help spread the word. And I’ll be
printing post cards we’ll distribute as widely as can be. It takes sacks of supportive mail arriving in the
hallway outside the office of Stamp Development to demonstrate the public’s interest in using this
That correspondence must come from all-across-the-nation, from individuals who care, and
organizations that recognize how Thaddeus Stevens helped advance their cause
Contact me if you’d like to help with the stamp campaign, or if you’d just like to know what more
could be done. Thank you for aiding these efforts in any way you can.
Don Gallagher, Volunteer, A Stamp For Stevens
38 Green Acre Road, Lititz, PA 17543-8770