1984 20¢ Hispanic Americans
· Pays tribute to Hispanic Americans from all walks of life
· Some of the portraits were based on living Medal of Honor winners
Stamp Category: Commemorative
Value: 20¢, rate for first-class mail
First Day of Issue: October 31, 1984
First Day City: Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 108,140,000
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Photogravure
Format: Panes of 40 in Sheets of 160
Why the stamp was issued: Originally intended to honor Hispanic Veterans, this stamp was changed to honor the contributions made by Hispanic Americans from all walks of life.
About the stamp design: This was Robert McCall’s first stamp design without a space theme. His artwork pictures four men, one woman, one boy, and one girl in front of the American flag. He met with 10 Medal of Honor winners, who served as models for some of his portraits.
First Day City: This stamp was issued in a small ceremony in the White House Rose Garden with President Ronald Reagan as a guest speaker.
Unusual fact about this stamp: President Ronald Reagan first announced this stamp in September 1983 at an event during Hispanic Heritage Week. Hosting Hispanic servicemen and veterans, he stated at the end of his speech that the USPS was working on a stamp titled “A Heritage of Valor,” in honor of Hispanic American veterans. However, the USPS was secretive about the stamp, refusing to comment on any specifics until weeks before it was issued. At that time, it was revealed that the stamp honored all Hispanic Americans, not just veterans.
History the stamp represents: Address an audience for Hispanic Heritage Week in 1983, President Ronald Reagan noted that “Since the Civil War, Americans of Hispanic descent have been winning Medals of Honor. To this date, there have been 36 such winners, an incredible number out of all proportion to the percentage of Hispanic population in our country.” He went on to discuss a street in Silvis, Illinois, from which 84 men from 22 Hispanic families fought in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Eventually, that street, originally named Second Street, was renamed Hero Street in their honor.