In 1994, the USPS introduced the Classic Collections series. Each sheet in the series features 20 face-different designs. Broadly-defined Americana themes, exceptional artwork, a banner printed on the selvage of the sheet, and descriptive text on the back of each stamp made them a favorite with collectors.
The series received a lot of publicity with the very first release, which contained an error and led to a prolonged court fight and a modern stamp rarity!
Stories about America’s West have long been among the most popular pieces of American folklore. This set pays tribute to 16 individuals and features four topic-oriented stamps as well. Each of the individuals honored played an important part in the amazing history of America. (Click on the stamp sheet to learn more about the error and the court battle.)
The release of the 20 Civil War stamps marked the most extensive effort in the history of the U.S. Postal Service to review and verify the historical accuracy of stamp subjects. Each of the 16 individuals and four battles featured were chosen from a master list of 50 subjects, which included Presidents, generals, major battles, rank-and-file soldiers, women, African and Native Americans, and abolitionists. The goal of the U.S.P.S. was to show the wide variety of people who participated in the Civil War.
Each of these 20 stamps features a comic strip classic. Daily and weekly newspapers have brought Americans cartoons since 1895. It is reported that 86 million adults and 17 million children in the U.S. read the Sunday comics each week! In fact, comic strips are considered one of America’s only indigenous art forms. The comic strip and its characters have popularized words and phrases, such as “I Yam Wot I Yam,” from Popeye, and even the foods we eat, like the “Dagwood” sandwich from Blondie. Comics have become movies (“Popeye”), and Broadway Shows (“Annie”). This sheet honors comic strips created within the first 50 years of comics, from 1895 to 1945.
Held in Atlanta, Georgia, the 1996 Olympic Summer Games marked the 100th anniversary of the modern Olympics. More than 11,000 athletes from 197 countries reached for excellence as they took the Olympic motto, “Swifter, Higher, Stronger,” to heart.
20 amazing U.S. aircraft – ranging from the P-51 to the B-17 Flying Fortress – are chronicled on this dramatic sheet.
This colorful sheet features 16 insects and four spiders. The species of insects and spiders on the stamps were chosen because of their educational value and interest to children. The species represent the wide range of colors, lifestyles, and behaviors exhibited by these amazing creatures. On the back of each stamp is a description of the bug on the front.
This set of 20 stamps chronicles the development of the American flag from Colonial times to the present. Each flag has an interesting story behind it. For example, the design of the Francis Hopkinson flag was once attributed to Betsy Ross. Historians now believe this often-told tale is untrue. Adopted on June 14, 1777, the birthday of the Hopkinson flag is celebrated each year as Flag Day. This was the first flag to feature both the stars and stripes in its design.
The Legends of Baseball issue honors 20 baseball greats who were named to the “All-Century Team,” announced after the 1999 season. Votes from fans, as well as members of a special panel, selected the team.