Get the Last Stamps in the
Great American Series
This set of 9 stamps contains the following Great American stamps:
US #2933 1995 32c Milton S. Hershey
US #2934 1996 32c Cal Farley
US #2935 1998 32c Henry R. Luce
US #2936 1998 32c Lila and DeWitt Wallace
US #2938 1995 46c Ruth Benedict
US #2940 1995 55c Alice Hamilton, M.D.
US #3941 1999 55c Justin S. Morrill
US #2942 1998 77c Mary Breckinridge
US #2943 1995 78c Alice Paul
About the Great American Series:
The Great Americans Series was created to replace the Americana Series. The new series would be characterized by a standard definitive size, simple design, and monochromatic colors.
This simple design included a portrait, “USA,” the denomination, the person’s name, and in some cases, their occupation or reason for recognition. The first stamp in the new series was issued on December 27, 1980. It honored Sequoyah and fulfilled the new international postcard rate that would go into effect in January 1981.
The Great Americans Series would honor a wider range of people than the previous Prominent Americans and Liberty Series. While those series mainly honored presidents and politicians, the Great Americans Series featured people from many fields and ethnicities. They were individuals who were leaders in education, the military, literature, the arts, and human and civil rights. Plus, while the previous series only honored a few women, the Great Americans featured 15 women. This was also the first definitive series to honor Native Americans, with five stamps.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) produced most of the stamps, but private firms printed some. Several stamps saw multiple printings. The result was many different varieties, with tagging being the key to understanding them. Though there were also differences in perforations, gum, paper, and ink color.
The final stamp in the series was issued on July 17, 1999, honoring Justin S. Morrill. Spanning 20 years, the Great Americans was the longest-running US definitive series. It was also the largest series of face-different stamps, with a total of 63.