1999 48¢ Niagara Falls
US #C133 paid the ½-ounce letter rate to Canada and Mexico.

On May 12, 1999, the USPS introduced a new series of Airmail stamps – the Scenic American Landscapes.

These stamps are part of the Airmail series. Airmail as its own separate service came to an end in 1977. After that time, airmail stamps were issued to pay international rates. After 1995, the USPS called these “international-rate stamps,” though they still said “Airmail” on them.

1999 40¢ Rio Grande
US #C134 paid the postcard rate to Mexico.

Then on May 12, 1999, the USPS began a new series of Airmail stamps that would picture the “mountains, canyons, and swamps that comprise our country’s diverse and majestic terrain.” However, unlike previous issues, these stamps wouldn’t include the word “Airmail,” rather, they had a small silhouette of a jet next to the denomination. Like the stamps before them, these new issues paid the international rate. But they could also be used to pay for other postal services and make up other rates. New stamps would be issued as the rates changed. There were also postal stationary items including postal cards and aerogrammes.

2000 60¢ Grand Canyon
US #C135 paid the one-ounce rate to Canada or Mexico.

There was a bit of controversy surrounding the third stamp in the series – the 2000 60¢ Grand Canyon issue. When it was first produced, it incorrectly read “Grand Canyon, Colorado.” Once they realized the mistake, the USPS ordered all stamps to be returned and destroyed (about 100 million), though some may have been sold and used on mail. Once the stamp was reissued with the correct state, it was discovered that the photo had been reversed, but the USPS chose not to reprint it again.

1999-2012 Scenic Landscapes Airmails
US #C133-50 – Complete 1999-2012 Scenic American Landscapes Series

The final stamp in the series was issued on January 20, 2012, and pictured Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A year later the USPS issued its first global-rate Forever stamp (US #4740) that would pay the one-ounce letter rate to Canada, Mexico, and the rest of the world.

Click the images below to learn about the rest of the stamps in the series.

2001 70¢ Nine-Mile Prairie
US #C136 – Nine-Mile Prairie, Nebraska
2001 80¢ Mount McKinley
US #C137 – Mt. McKinley, Alaska
2001 60¢ Acadia National Park
US #C138 – Acadia National Park, Maine
2006 63¢ Bryce Canyon National Park
US #C139 – Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
2006 75¢ Great Smokey Mountains
US #C140 – Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/Tennessee
2006 84¢ Yosemite National Park
US #C141 – Yosemite National Park, California
2007 69¢ Okefenokee Swamp
US #C142 – Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia/Florida
2007 90¢ Hagatna Bay
US #C143 – Hagatna Bay, Guam
2008 72¢ 13-Mile Woods
US #C144 – 13-Mile Woods, New Hampshire
2008 94¢ Trunk Bay, St. John, Virgin Is.
US #C145 – Trunk Bay, St. John, Virgin Islands
2009 79¢ Zion National Park
US #C146 – Zion National Park, Utah
2009 98¢ Grand Teton National Park
US #C147 – Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
2011 80¢ Voyageurs National Park
US #C148 – Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
2012 85¢ Glacier National Park
US #C149 – Glacier National Park Montana
2012 $1.05 Airmail - Lancaster County, PA
US #C150 – Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
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  1. The last paragraph doesn’t come to grips with whether any more AIRMAIL STAMPS might be issued. The GLOBAL-RATE FOREVER stamps may have taken their place, permanently ending the series at 150 stamps. Has anyone heard? Anyway, the series does provide a nice opportunity to achieve completion in this one attractive segment of U.S. stamps. That depends, of course, on whether you can see your way clear to purchase the three expensive ‘Zeps’!

  2. Just don’t like stamps that look like little magazine photographs. Interesting essay though.

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