Reminder: The Celebrate Scouting FDOI Is Next Week!

The Celebrate Scouting (Forever®) stamp First Day of Issue ceremony is approaching fast! It will be held on Saturday, June 9, in Washington, D.C., at the annual Girl Scouts Rock the Mall event. Celebrate Scouting is the “sister” stamp to the 2010 Scouting stamp.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, and to celebrate, 200,000 women and girls are expected to be in the nation’s capital for the world’s largest sing-along. Will you be joining us? If you’d like, share some of your Girl Scout stories with us.

Save the Date! Celebrate Scouting Stamp to Be Issued in Washington, D.C., in June

Exciting news, stamp fans! On June 9, the new Celebrate Scouting (Forever) stamp, the “sister” stamp to the 2010 Scouting stamp, will be officially issued in Washington, D.C. The ceremony coincides with the annual Girl Scouts Rock the Mall event.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, and to celebrate, 200,000 women and girls are expected to be in the nation’s capital for the world’s largest sing-along. Will you be among them? Get ready to lift your voice in this Year of the Girl, and check back here for more details on the time and location of the stamp ceremony. We can’t wait!

Sí se puede: Celebrating Cesar Chavez Day (and a contest!)

Cesar E. Chavez (1927–1993) is best remembered as the founder of the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO (UFW). A strong believer in the principles of nonviolence, he effectively employed peaceful tactics such as fasts, boycotts, strikes, and pilgrimages. Last Friday, President Obama proclaimed today Cesar Chavez Day:

One of our Nation’s great civil rights leaders, Cesar Estrada Chavez came of age as a migrant farm worker, witnessing the injustice that pervaded fields and vineyards across California. Facing discrimination, poverty, and dangerous working conditions, laborers toiled for little pay and without access to even the most basic necessities. Yet amidst hardship and abuse, Cesar Chavez saw the promise of change—the unlimited potential of a community organized around a common purpose. Today we celebrate his courage, reflect on his lifetime of advocacy, and recognize the power in each of us to lift up lives and pursue social justice.

For more than three decades Chavez led the first successful farm workers union in American history, achieving gains such as fair wages, medical coverage, pension benefits, and human living conditions. However, his work transcended any one movement or cause. Chavez inspired millions of Americans to seek social justice and civil rights for the poor and disenfranchised. He advocated for nonviolent social reform. He was an environmentalist and labor leader. Ultimately, he forged an extraordinary and diverse national coalition of students, middle-class consumers, trade unionists, religious groups, women, and minorities.

Chavez’s motto in life—si se puede (“it can be done”)—embodies the uncommon and invaluable legacy he left behind. The U.S. Postal Service honored Chavez with a stamp in 2003. “He was the champion for hardworking but underpaid workers,” said art director Carl T. Herrman, who designed the stamp. “His life shows that you don’t have to be a wealthy person to make a difference in America.”

To celebrate Cesar Chavez Day, we’ve devised a little contest for you all. Here’s the question: Who famously called Chavez “one of the heroic figures of our time”? Send your answers to uspsstamps [at] gmail [dot] com. Of those who answer correctly, five will be chosen at random to receive an official USPS program from the Cesar E. Chavez First Day of Issue Ceremony held in Los Angeles on April, 23, 2003. You have until midnight tomorrow (Sunday, April 1) to enter. Good luck, and remember, spelling counts!

Girl Scouts of the USA Celebrate 100 Years of Leadership

On March 12, 1912, Juliette Gordon Low made history when she formed the first U.S. Girl Guide troop in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia. With the help of her first 18 members, Low created the Girl Scouts of USA.

She brought together girls from all backgrounds, providing them with the knowledge and self-reliance to become successful professional women in addition to traditional homemakers. Low’s inclusion of any girl—despite disabilities she may have—was groundbreaking at the time.

In the century since, Girl Scouts has helped educate and empower millions of women. The organization currently has more than 3.2 million members across the country. Its commitment to diversity and inclusion has made its 50 million American alumnae proud. Activities based in leadership and personal growth, as well as community outreach, have always set Girl Scouts apart.

Juliette Gordon Low received many posthumous honors and awards for her tremendous work with America’s youth. During World War II, a Liberty Ship was named in her honor—the SS Juliette Low—and launched in Savannah on March 12, 1944. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill on December 2, 1983 naming a federal building in Low’s hometown after her. In October 2005, Low was immortalized as part of the Extra Mile Points of Light Volunteer Pathway monument in Washington, D.C.

Because of the enormous reach of Girl Scouts’ goodwill, the nation celebrates its centennial today. The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., is hosting Girl Scouts Rock the Mall this week with tours, history, exhibits, and interactive activities for all ages.

As a Brownie alumna, I especially understand the importance of Girl Scouts for young women. I learned a lot about myself and the world from the organization, and I’m proud to honor its 100 years of scouting legacy.

A Global Celebration of Women

Today is International Women’s Day, observed around the globe as a day on which the social, economic, political, and cultural achievements of women past and present are celebrated. Since the first International Women’s Day event held in 1911, the world has taken this opportunity once a year to champion the rights of women and marvel at how far we’ve come.

This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is Empower Rural Women—End Hunger and Poverty. Though great strides have been made in the name of women’s rights around the world, it’s important to remember the inequities that still exist.

In many countries, Women’s Day is a national holiday—men show their appreciation for their mothers, wives, sisters, and colleagues with flowers and gifts. The United Nations designated 1975 International Women’s Year as a way to unify the world’s efforts to advocate for women’s rights. It was during that year that March 8 was set as the official Women’s Day for all member states wishing to participate.

Today is about the celebration of women and the fight to insure safe, happy, rewarding futures for the next generations.