Second Stamp in Music Icons Series Revealed: Johnny Cash

We are very excited this morning to reveal the second stamp in the new Music Icons series. This one honors Johnny Cash (1932–2003).

Known to many simply as “the Man in Black,” Johnny Cash sang of love, loss, hardship, and faith, telling the story of the nation one person at a time. Best remembered internationally as a country music artist with an unmistakable bass-baritone voice, Cash also influenced folk, gospel, rock, and other genres. His many hits include “I Walk the Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues.”


Name and likeness under license from the John R. Cash Revocable Trust.

For the stamp art, art director and stamp designer Greg Breeding chose a photograph of Johnny Cash taken during the photo session for Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash (1963). The photo was taken by Frank Bez for Columbia Records (now part of Sony Music Entertainment). Breeding designed the square stamp and pane to resemble the appearance of a 45 rpm record sleeve.

The Johnny Cash stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate. A release date has not yet been set.

Loveland Valentine’s Day Postmark Travels the World

Continuing a 67-year old tradition, the U.S. Postal Service and Loveland Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to send cards and letters around the world with a coveted “Loveland” special postmark.

co_2013_0114bA unique design created by a local artist and selected via a competitive contest is stamped on the outside of all Valentine envelopes and re-mailed from the Sweetheart City.

Since the start of the program in 1947, more than 12 million Valentines have been re-mailed by Loveland. It’s the largest program of its kind in the world. More than 200,000 cards and letters were handled last year, from more than 100 countries and every state in the Union.

To have cards and letters re-mailed with the Loveland postmark, properly stamp and address each individual Valentine and put them all in a larger, stamped envelope and mail them to:

Valentine Re-mailing
446 E 29th St
Loveland CO 80538

Deadlines for re-mailing and delivery by Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14:

  • Valentine cards/envelopes destined for re-mailing outside of the U.S. to other countries and international destinations should be in Loveland by February 4, 2012.
  • Valentine cards/envelopes destined for re-mailing within the U.S. and outside of Colorado should be in Loveland by February 9, 2012.
  • Valentine cards/envelopes destined for re-mailing within the state of Colorado should be in Loveland by February 11, 2012.

Colorado residents can also drop off pre-stamped valentine envelopes at King Soopers and City Market stores, which have Loveland Valentine Re-mailing boxes, at area Loveland locations with valentine boxes, and in the Red Valentine Mail Boxes located in the lobby at both Loveland Post Offices.

Chubby Cherubs Hit Their Mark on 1995 Love Stamps

Non-denom singleIn ancient Roman mythology Cupid, the son of Venus, goddess of love, was most often portrayed as a handsome youth. He carried a bow and arrows, which he used to pierce the hearts of his living targets—gods and mortals alike—plunging them headlong into love. Cupid himself was not immune; accidentally nicked by the tip of an arrow, he fell passionately in love with a mortal, Psyche.

Cupid may have been the ancient Roman god of desire, but over time his image has morphed into one of the most enduring symbols of Valentine’s Day: a chubby cherub carrying a tiny bow and quiver of arrows, a motif that dates to the Victorian era. Today that image—ubiquitous on Valentine’s Day cards, boxes of candy, and decorations—is familiar to modern eyes as the embodiment of Cupid.

Because of the association with the image of Cupid, cherubs seemed like a good choice for the 1995 Love stamps. Both stamps issued that year feature a winged child taken from Sistine Madonna (c. 1513–1514), a painting by Renaissance artist Raphael.

Love30_sglG_4xRGB [Converted]The images are not new to reproduction, having been depicted on everything from greeting cards to sweatshirts. They were even featured on Costa Rica’s 1984 Christmas stamp.

The decision to use the figures from Raphael’s work caused some controversy, however. During initial discussion about the stamp design, it was noted that the cherubs were putti, or child angels, whose appearance related to death rather than love. Nevertheless, the consensus was that by isolating the children from the original painting, they became beautiful cherubs, described in press materials for the stamps as “cupids.”

Reports in Linn’s Stamp News and follow-up letters to the Washington Post stirred the controversy. Were they putti—little angels of death—or cupids? Some people agreed that separating the images from the source painting created a new context; others still debated the appropriateness of the images on a Love stamp. But in the end the stamp-buying public had the last word—millions of the stamps sold!

Send Letters Worldwide With New Global Forever® Stamp

Do you fancy sending a letter to friends and family overseas? The —which is available in Post Offices and online beginning today—offers a single price for a one-ounce First-Class Mail International letter to any country in the world. You can also use this gorgeous new stamp to mail a two-ounce letter to Canada.


From 1999 to 2012, USPS showcased the wide-ranging beauty of our nation with its Scenic American Landscapes series. Now, the Global Forever stamp will showcase the beauty of our entire planet with this rendering of Earth—a composite of images created from satellite data and redesigned with 3D computer technology.

As with all Forever stamps, the value of the Global Forever stamp will be equivalent to the price in effect at the time of mailing. The stamp’s round design and the words “Global Forever” distinguish it from other Forever stamps. It is being issued in self-adhesive panes of 20 stamps at the $1.10 rate, or $22.00 per pane.

Favorite Links of the Week: Keeping It Local Edition

We’re just a few weeks into the new year, and already we’re overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for the 2013 stamp program. All across the country, communities small and large have embraced the stamps released so far, stoked excitement about upcoming releases, and reminded us that stamps reflect all facets of American life.

Apples33-2013-block4-BGv1Who knew, for example, that the new Apples postcard stamps would resonate just as strongly in West Virginia (where the Golden Delicious is the state fruit) as in West Barnstable, Massachusetts, home to the Baldwin variety as well as stamp artist John Burgoyne.

The Apples stamps drew dozens of enthusiasts to lovely Yakima, Washington—home to 60 percent of the state’s apple production—for the town’s first ever stamp unveiling. Woohoo!

And the New York Apple Association (NYAA), based in Fishers, New York, also joined the fun this week when it learned that the Apples stamps feature the local Northern Spy variety. “To celebrate,” said Molly Golden, director of marketing for NYAA, “we suggest consumers bake a pie with Spies and any other great New York apple variety.” Love the idea! Recipes anyone?

In other local stamp news:

  • A beloved Vermont landmark, the Arlington Green Bridge in Bennington County, is featured on the new Priority Mail stamp issued this morning.

Thanks to all the communities around the country that have embraced stamps as part of their local story. You truly bring stamps to life.

Posted in 2013 Stamp Program, Links of the Week | Tagged apples. Grand Central Terminal, Emancipation Proclamation, Tufted Puffins