Arago: 5-dollar Coolidge

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5-dollar Coolidge

The image of Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), the thirtieth president of the United States (1923-1929), appears on the 5-dollar value of the 1938 Presidential Series. His likeness was taken from a medal struck by the U.S. Mint.

Coolidge, a career politician from Plymouth, Vermont, became president upon the death of Warren G. Harding. "Silent Cal," as he was known, felt that the best government was the government that governed the least, and he saw his role as president as that of a figure head. Coolidge's 1923 State of the Union address was the first presidential speech ever broadcast on the radio, and four days later he again addressed the American people, this time from the White House. His speech paid tribute to Warren G. Harding.

No memorial stamp was ever created for this popular president because everyone involved assumed Coolidge would be part of the 1938 Presidential Series, then in its early planning stage. Therefore, the 5-dollar issue was Coolidge's first appearance on a postage stamp.

The carmine and black 5-dollar stamp was printed only in sheet form and was issued on November 17, 1938. It is the most difficult of the series to locate on cover. Most of these stamps can be found in combination with other stamps on tags, paying the postage and other fees to mail negotiable securities between banks. Theoretically, a solo 5-dollar stamp could have been used to pay for a variety of multiple rates and fees, but none has been discovered.


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