Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), the eighth president of the Unites States, appears on the 8-cent olive green denomination of the 1938 Presidential Series. A bust on display in the U.S. Capitol's Senate Gallery inspired the image of Van Buren.
The 8-cent Van Buren stamp was issued in sheet form on August 11, 1938. It saw limited use during the first years after it's release, when the solo stamp could pay for two rates: the five-cent-per-ounce domestic airmail fee plus a three-cent international surface supplementary charge (in effect November 23, 1934, through September 30, 1946) and the two-ounce international surface rate (five cents for the first ounce and three cents for the next ounce, in effect October 1, 1907, through October 31, 1953). Near the end of World War II, the 8-cent stamp saw more usage when the one-ounce domestic airmail rate became eight cents. This rate was in effect for only a short time—March 26, 1944, through September 30, 1946. More extensive use of this stamp came when the one-ounce surface rate to foreign countries became eight cents (in effect November 1, 1953, through June 30, 1961). A half-ounce letter could have been sent by airmail to Cuba for eight cents from June 29, 1945, through July 31, 1954.