1992 Alaska Highway
- Commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Alaska Highway
Category of Stamp: Commemorative
Value: 29¢, First Class Mail rate
First Day of Issue: May 30, 1992
First Day City: Fairbanks, Alaska
Quantity Issued: 146,610,000
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method/Format: Lithographed (plates of 200 subjects – 20 across, 10 down) and engraved (400 subjects – 20 across, 20 down). Separated into panes of 50 – 10 across, 5 down
Reason the stamp was issued: The stamp celebrates the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Alaska Highway, a 1,500-mile road built during World War II to connect military bases in Alaska with the continental US.
About the stamp design: The image for the stamp is based on a 1942 US Army photograph of a section of the Alaska Highway. The vehicle in the foreground is a Dodge quarter-ton truck, called a command car. The original photograph is in the Library of Congress.
Alaskan watercolor painter Byron Birdsall was chosen to produce the art for the Alaska Highway stamp. He based his artwork on the 1942 photo. Birdsall was not able to identify the mountain range in the background of the photo.
First Day City: The stamp dedication ceremony took place at the Alaskaland Civic Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. A World War II Army Dodge, like the one pictured on the stamp, was on display at the ceremony.
A second ceremony happened the next day in Delta Junction, where the highway officially ends. An official second-day-of-issue postmark was provided for the occasion.
Unusual thing about this stamp: An error of this stamp was found by a collector in Colorado. The black “29 USA” logo was missing from some of the stamps purchased from a vending machine. After noticing the error, the collector bought out the machine’s supply of stamps with the error.
History the stamp represents: The Alaska Highway was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in less than nine months. Running over 1,500 miles through Canada, it allowed vital supplies to travel from the continental US to military bases in Alaska Territory. The road was called the Alaska-Canada Military Highway, or Alcan Highway for short. During World War II, Imperial Japan captured some of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, threatening to attack mainland America. American forces were able to stop Japan’s advance and remove them from Alaska, thanks in large part to the Alaska Highway.