In his 1941 State of the Union Address to Congress, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, "we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms." While other countries were waging war in an effort to restore those freedoms denied by fascist regimes, the United States was held out of the fight by proponents of isolationism. That pacifism would end months later when the Japanese attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet as it stood docked in Pearl Harbor. But now as Roosevelt gave what would be remembered as one of his greatest speeches, the Statue of Freedom stood atop the dome of the Capitol building.
The Capitol's Statue of Freedom has been at the center of the Newspaper & Periodical stamp design since Continental Bank Note Company initiated its use for the 1875 stamp denominations. When the mail rate for newspapers and periodicals was reduced from two cents per pound to one cent, a new one-cent stamp was issued on July 1, 1885 with an overall design similar to the 1875 Issue. American Bank Note Company was the author of this new stamp. When the Bureau of Engraving and Printing issued its own one-cent stamp in 1894, the ABNCo and BEP issues would be distinguished by slight color and paper differences.
BEP would produce two more printings of the one-cent stamp: the unwatermarked 1895 printing and the watermarked 1896 printing. The frame and vignette would be modified in both stamps; the Statue of Freedom is facing forward in this revised design. More than 8,500,000 stamps of the one-cent newspaper and periodical stamps were printed and issued.