John F. Kennedy (1917–1963), the nation's thirty-fifth president, is honored on the 13-cent stamp. Kennedy, a naval officer who served in the South Pacific in World War II, served as both congressman and senator from Massachusetts. He was elected president in 1960.
Kennedy’s presidency was highlighted by confrontations with the Soviet Union and Communist China, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin wall, and events bringing the country into the Vietnam War. It was Kennedy’s resolve to achieve superiority over the Russians in the space race and to put a man on the moon. The Civil Rights movement heavily influenced his domestic programs.
Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. The assassination had a traumatic impact on the nation and the political history of the ensuing decades. He was one of four sitting presidents to be assassinated, the other three being Abraham Lincoln (1865), James Garfield (1881), and William McKinley (1901).
Issued in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1967, the 13-cent brown Kennedy stamp was produced as a sheet stamp printed from plates of four hundred and sold in panes of one hundred stamps with gauge 11 x 10.5 perforations. The stamp was designed by Stevan Dohanos based on a photograph by Jacques Loew in the book "The Kennedy Years." Arthur W. Dintaman (vignette) and Howard F. Sharpless (lettering) engraved the stamp.
The 13-cent Kennedy stamp paid the foreign surface letter and air postcard rates. The stamp later paid the 13-cent domestic airmail letter rate, the third-class single per two-ounce and postcard rates. The stamp was also used to pay the second ounce when the domestic first-class letter rate went to fifteen cents.