Arago: Will Rogers Issue

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Will Rogers Issue

The Post Office Department honored humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935) with a stamp issued November 4, 1948, at Claremore, Oklahoma. Requests for the stamp had begun shortly after Rogers's death.

Writing in Linn's Stamp News on February 23, 1948, Carl Reuth noted, "The stamp for Will Rogers will strike a responsive chord among all persons, whether collector or not, for Rogers was regarded as much of an American tradition as the Statue of Liberty.''

The First Day Ceremony stretched over a full day and evening, beginning at 10:30 a.m. with a memorial service at Rogers's tomb and ending with an evening dance at the Armory Building, sponsored by the Will Rogers Round-up Club. The Oklahoma Planning and Resources Board printed an eight-page illustrated leaflet containing a short story of the life of Will Rogers and the Will Rogers Memorial at Claremore. It was announced that the leaflet would be inserted free of charge in all covers sent unsealed to the secretary of the Claremore Chamber of Commerce. After the leaflets were inserted into the envelopes, a member of the Chamber delivered the covers and the remittance to the postmaster for first day servicing.

Charles R. Chickering, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, designed the stamp from a photograph furnished to the Post Office Department by the Washington Star. J. Waldo Fawcett, in his stamp column of January 31, 1948, in that paper stated, "The portrait of Will Rogers used in producing his commemorative was made by an unknown Hollywood photographer. It showed the famous cowboy philosopher with a stray lock of hair hanging over his forehead, a detail eliminated by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Artist." M.D. Fenton engraved the portrait; A.W. Christensen engraved the outline frame, lettering, and numerals.

References:

Bureau Specialist. West Somerville, Massachusetts: Bureau Issues Association, Inc. (November 1949), 253, 269.

Linn's Weekly Stamp News. Sidney, Ohio: Amos Press. (February 23, 1948), 1.

Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News. Portland, Maine: Severn-Wylie-Jewett Company. (October 18, 1948), 278.

The American Philatelist. Altoona, Pennsylvania: American Philatelic Association (May 1950), 649.


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