The 2 1/2-cent Liberty stamp commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill, the first significant engagement in the American War of Independence, fought June 17, 1775. An American force, never exceeding 1,500, opposed the British forces, numbering between 2,000 and 3,000. It was at Bunker Hill that General Joseph Warren issued his famous command, "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes!" order. A rallying point for the colonists, the battle proved that untrained and ill-equipped troops could face- down the highly skilled and well-armed British army.
The stamp, which features images of the Bunker Hill Monument and the flag adopted by Massachusetts at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, was issued on June 17, 1959, at Boston, Massachusetts, in sheet form. It appeared in coil form on September 9, 1959, at Los Angeles California. It paid the individual piece minimum rate for large third class bulk mailings.
Robert L. Miller of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing designed the stamp. Arthur W. Dintaman engraved the vignette, and John S. Edmonson engraved the lettering and the numeral.
The POD applied a pictorial cancel to first day covers, which featured a "Minute Man," the symbol of resistance during the Battle of Bunker Hill.