The 2¢ Lake Placid - The Winter Olympic Games of 1932
The three Olympic stamps of 1932 continued a tradition of the U.S. Post Office Department issuing postage stamps to promote
events. This stamp features the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York. The event did much to raise Lake Placid's status as a resort area, and in fact in 1980 the Winter
Olympics were again held here.
First Day sales were in Washington D.C. and, of course, Lake Placid. Even though only two cities were chosen to distribute the First Day Issues, the supply of 400,000 First
Day stamps was quickly exhausted. First Day Cover collecting had now become fashionable and the stock of First Day Covers
of all of the commemoratives of 1932 is more than adequate to this day, with few exceptions.
The 2¢ Arbor Day Issue of 1932
The first Arbor Day, a state holiday "consecrated to tree planting" in the words of
its founder Julius Morton, was held in Nebraska on April 10th, 1872. The planting of trees was to provide shade, shelter, fruit and nuts, fuel, and beauty for the
inhabitants of the ninety-seven per cent treeless state. Over one million trees were planted on that first Arbor Day. Over
the next few years, the holiday went on to become so popular that many of the neighboring Plains states adopted it.
Through time all of the states have adopted the holiday, although the day of the year Arbor Day falls on varies from state to state, with Florida's as early as January and
Hawaii's as late as November. The Northern states would of course need a planting date in late spring or early summer, and this is indeed the case.
As with many of its predecessors, this stamp was a concession to heavy lobbying, in this case from the Midwest, particularly
Representative John Morehead of Nebraska. April 22, 1932 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Morton and was
chosen as the First Day of issue, with First Day sales in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
The 3¢ Sprinter at Starting Mark and The 5¢ "Myron's Discobolus"
Celebrating the 10th Olympiad at Los Angeles
These stamps did not encounter the usual resistance surrounding other new issues of the era in that they promoted the Summer Olympics of 1932 in the
same manner that the "ski jumper" stamp above promoted the Winter Olympics. The 3¢ denomination reflected the anticipated increase in first class
letter rate from 2¢ to 3¢, which actually took place on July 6 of that year and was printed in the purple of the contemporary three cent stamps.
The 5¢ stamp, printed in the blue of the contemporary five cent stamps, reflected the rate for the first ounce of foreign mail, clearly emphasizing the
international importance of the Olympic Games. First Day sales for both stamps were on June 15, 1932 in Los Angeles, California and a day
later in Washington, D.C. The stamps were very popular as souvenir items and as with all of the commemorative stamps of 1932, sufficient numbers were saved that an
adequate supply of both stamps exists today.
The 3¢ William Penn
William Penn is of course well known as the founder of Pennsylvania and the man who designed the City of Philadelphia. Contrary to the common assumption
that he named the colony after himself, Pennsylvania, literally meaning "Penn's Woods", was named after his father Sir William Penn. The younger Penn
was granted the land west of the Delaware River, what is now called Pennsylvania, as payment for a debt
the King of England owed his father. Penn and his fellow Quakers arrived in Pennsylvania in the Fall of 1682.
The founding of Pennsylvania alone would not distinguish Penn in a way that would merit the place he holds in American history. Penn was a spiritual man and became a
"Friend", or Quaker, early in life. The Quaker doctrine influenced his political beliefs, and the "Frame of Political Government" he devised for
Pennsylvania contained many of the ideals that would later be adopted by the American Constitution. None other than Thomas Jefferson referred to him as "the greatest
law-giver the world has produced." His pacifist nature manifested itself in his dealings with native Americans, not only did he try to work peacefully with the
locals, but he learned to distinguish the cultural differences and dealt with each tribe accordingly.
It is ironic that the only authentic portrait of the peace-loving Penn is at age 22 in a full set of armor. This is the portrait on which the design of the stamp is
based. Fortunately, his armor was replaced by the traditional dress of the day, and although perhaps a little youthful, the stamp portrays him in a peaceful enough light.
It is thought by some that the man on the Quaker Oats box is an older version of William Penn. However this is not the case; to quote the
Quaker Oats Company itself, "The "Quaker man" is not an actual person.
His image is that of a man dressed in the Quaker garb, chosen because the Quaker faith projected the values of honesty, integrity, purity and strength."
October 24, 1932 marked two anniversaries - October 24 is William Penn's birth date and 1932 marked the 250th anniversary of Penn's settlement in America.
First Day sales were in Philadelphia, Chester and New Castle, Pennsylvania.
The 3¢ Daniel Webster
Although not known for any single deed, Daniel Webster was certainly one of the great Americans of the nineteenth century. Variously known as the
"Defender of the Constitution" and the "Great Expounder of the Constitution",
his love of America and his sense of nationalism at a time when the
North and South were heavily
divided over slavery and the rights of all mankind, combined with his great oratorical skill, played a key role in delaying the inevitable Civil War which ultimately
started less than a decade after his death.
He served as a senator from Massachusetts, as Secretary of State under William Harrison, and ran for President as the
Whig party nominee, among a great many other things. He is often quoted, we found 38 quotations in Bartlett's
Familiar Quotations, including one that rings eerily familiar to anyone familiar with Lincoln's Gettysburg Address - "The people’s government,
made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people." This in a speech made in 1830, more than 30 years before Lincoln expressed nearly the
same sentiments at Gettysburg.
Although the portrait on this stamp may not ring familiar, this is the same Daniel Webster honored on three earlier stamp designs: the
15¢ BankNote of the 1870 design, the 10¢ Baby Banknote and "Triangle",
and the 10¢ stamp of the 1902 Series. The designer of the portrait obviously took quite a bit of artistic liberty with this stamp,
since Webster was also known as "Black Dan" for his thick head of black hair and a dark complexion.
Today, many Americans have forgotten the important role Daniel Webster has played in the shaping of American history.
His presence on four of the first 250 or so designs of American postage stamps should help to reinforce this fact.
And in case you were wondering, Daniel was of no relation to Noah Webster of the "Webster's Dictionary" fame.
October 24, 1932 marked the 80th anniversary of Webster's death. The issue of this stamp was to coincide with the unveiling
of a memorial bust to honor him, but the famous sculptor, Daniel Chester French, died before he completed it. First Day sales were in Franklin,
Webster's birth place; Exeter, the home of Philips Exeter Academy where Webster was schooled; and Hanover, the site
of Webster's alma mater Dartmouth College, all in New Hampshire.