SPRINGFIELD, IL.- the United States Postal Service gave the public a sneak preview of the art that will appear on four stamps it will issue next year to commemorate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincolns birth.
A crowd of more than 200, including fourth grade students from the DuBois and Isles elementary school in Springfield gathered for the event held this morning on the steps of the Old State Capitol.
Springfield Postmaster Doug Maxwell announced that Springfield, IL, has been selected as the First-Day- of-Issue city when the stamps are issued on Feb. 9, 2009.
Jan Grimes, director of the Illinois State Historic Preservation Agency; Ray LaHood, congressman and co-chair of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; Harold Holzer, Lincoln scholar and co-chair of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; Marilyn Kushak, chair of the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; Springfield Mayor Tim Dalvin; and select students from the DuBois and Isles schools assisted Postmaster Maxwell with the unveiling of the stamps.
The stamps will commemorate four stages of Lincolns life and legend:rail-splitter, lawyer, politician and president. The stamp art was created by Mark Summers, who is noted for his scratchboard technique, a style distinguished by a dense network of lines etched with exquisite precision. Summers has created portraits for several U.S postage stamps including:James A. Michener, Wilma Rudolph, Albert Sabin, Jonas Salk, Margaret Chase Smith and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
The onetime village postmaster likely would be astonished that he has inspired, no doubt, more postal tributes around the world than any other American, said Holzer. But never has it been more fitting and proper to re-enshrine Abraham Lincoln as the face of our remarkable, enduring postal system than on the occasion of his 200th birthday.
Abraham Lincoln became postmaster of New Salem, IL, on May 7, 1833.
Maxwell also announced the Illinois State Historic Preservation agency is inviting school children across the country, and around the world, to send Mr. Lincoln a card or a letter to help celebrate his 200th anniversary. Some may even want to thank him for inspiring them to someday follow in his footsteps and run for president, Maxwell said.