In 2010, the Postal Service, in conjunction with the National Park Service, released The Grandest Things, a 166-page book that combines history and nature in a brand new way. With breathtaking images of sites throughout the national park system coupled with corresponding stamps, the book enlivens the senses and illuminates an indispensable service in our country.
Though seemingly unrelated, parks and stamps tell intertwined stories and frequently share a common goal: to preserve what Walt Whitman called “the grandest things” for future generations. From the inception of the National Park Service to the now more than 84 million acres of federally protected land, The Grandest Things takes you through time with fascinating images, stamps, and stories.
Perhaps the most striking element of the book is its visual tour across America—with more than 75 national parks, monuments, and memorials, and amazing photographs of just some of the sites that make these places so incredible. From the volcanoes of Hawai’i to the deciduous forests of New England, The Grandest Things covers the nation, coast to coast.
In addition to the rich, image-based history detailed in the book, The Grandest Things also includes nine mint-condition stamps and a special collecting section for mounting, as well as background information on each of the stamps. Eight of the stamps come from the Scenic American Landscapes series, which began in 2001. The ninth stamp is the Old Faithful, Yellowstone stamp, issued in 1972 to commemorate the nation’s first national park.
Starting today, we’ll be holding a monthly contest here on the blog centered around this beautiful book and our love of national parks. Each month’s single winner will receive a set of the Scenic American Landscapes stamped cards, which showcase photographs from parks across the country.
To enter the contest this month, simply answer the following two-part question:
What year was declared National Park Year and who/what proclaimed it so?
Submit your answer to uspsstamps [at] gmail [dot] com and remember, spelling counts! The winner will be selected at random and notified by email. Deadline for entries is 3 p.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 19. Good luck!