Search for Peace Stamp & Essay Contest
On July 5, 1967, the US Post Office issued a 5¢ stamp honoring the 50th anniversary of Lions International as well as a special contest hosted by the organization.
Founded in 1917, Lions International celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1967. To mark the occasion, the Lions hosted an international contest called, “The Search for Peace.”
Announced at the Lion’s 49th annual convention in New York, the contest was open to anyone between the ages of 14 and 21 from around the world. The goal was to create “an awareness and understanding of peace among tomorrow’s leaders.”
In all, more than one million young people submitted essays. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower was an honorary chairman on the international panel that selected the winners. The panel ended up choosing A. Russell Wodell of Cranbrook, British Columbia for his essay, “Is Peace Attainable.”
In his essay, Wodell wrote, “There is no easy road to peace. Only through evolution of his social, moral and intellectual values can man achieve true peace with himself.” As the first place winner, Wodell received a $25,000 grant to use for his education or career. There were also $1,000 prizes given to semifinalists.
The stamp promoting the essay contest featured the ancient Greek symbol for peace – the dove and laurel branch – taken from Jacob Bryant’s Analysis of Ancient Mythology. Bradbury Thompson designed the stamp. Over the years, Thompson designed over 120 stamps, more than any other stamp designer in the world.
The Lions still hold their international essay contest and also began holding an international poster contest in 1988.
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