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New O Beautiful forever stamps from the US Postal Service

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WASHINGTON — With the release of the O Beautiful Forever stamps on July 4, the U.S. Postal Service commemorates the beauty and majesty of the United States through 20 captivating images that visually represent one of the nation’s most beloved songs, “America the Beautiful.” The stamps will be dedicated in Colorado Springs, CO, at 7:30 p.m. MDT in Memorial Park as part of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic’s July 4th Event — Summer Symphony. “As we celebrate America’s 242nd birthday, the United States Postal Service shines a spotlight on our country’s unparalleled natural beauty with a pane of 20 stamps that corresponds with one of the nation’s most beloved songs,” said U.S. Postal Service Colorado Wyoming District Manager Kevin Romero. From Bailey Island on the coast of Maine to the rugged cliffs of Napali Coast State Wilderness Park in Hawaii, the O Beautiful Forever stamps showcase the country’s extraordinary natural beauty. Each stamp features a photograph that helps illustrate one of five phrases from the song’s famous first verse: “Spacious Skies,” “Waves of Grain,” “Mountain Majesties,” “The Fruited Plain,” and “Sea to Shining Sea.” The stamps include a national seashore, national parks, state parks, parks managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. The stamps highlight some of the nation’s hidden gems, such as wheat fields in Wisconsin and Montana and the lush, fertile landscape surrounding Orinda, CA. The stamps also celebrate the country’s ephemeral wonders, including a double rainbow arching over a Kansas field, the aurora borealis lighting up Three Fingers Mountain in Washington, and a quietly stunning spring sunset over the green hills of Livermore, CA. America the Beautiful First published as a poem on July 4, 1895, “America the Beautiful” was written by poet Katharine Lee Bates (1859–1929) and set to the music of “Materna,” a melody composed by Samuel Augustus Ward (1848–1903). Considered by many to be the country’s unofficial national anthem, the song consists of four verses, each punctuated by the anthemic cry “America! America!” Today it remains one of the country's most popular patriotic songs. Stamp Rows Themed to O Beautiful and Locations of Stamp Images Each row of the 20-stamp pane illustrates one of five phrases from the song “America the Beautiful” famous first verses: “Spacious Skies”, “Waves of Grain”, “Mountain Majesties”, “The Fruited Plain” and “Sea to Shining Sea”.  

Art director Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, designed the pane using existing photographs. The O Beautiful stamps are being issued as Forever stamps, which will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price. Stamp Ideas Welcome The public is encouraged to submit stamp suggestions. Visit this link for details on the stamp selection process and instructions for submitting suggestions in writing. Due to the time required for research and approval, ideas for stamp subjects should be received at least three years prior to proposed release. Each submission should include pertinent historical information and important dates associated with the subject.

Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks Customers have 60 days to obtain first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail. They may purchase new stamps at Post Office locations, at the Postal Store usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to: FDOI – O Beautiful Stamps USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services 8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300 Kansas City, MO 64144-9900 After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for postmarks up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by November 4, 2018. Ordering First-Day Covers The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamps and stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724.

Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service Catalog Request

PO Box 219014

Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

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