Arago: 15-cent Jay

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15-cent Jay

The 15-cent issue features a portrait of John Jay, the Supreme Court's first chief justice. The stamp was first available on Jay's birth anniversary, December 12, 1958. It was issued in the Supreme Court building with Chief Justice Earl Warren presiding. The stamp features a likeness of Jay based on a painting by Gilbert Stuart which hangs at the national Gallery of Art. Charles R. Chickering and Victor S. McCloskey, Jr., of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing collaborated to design the stamp.

John Jay was born in New York City on December 12, 1745, and went on to serve as that state's chief justice. He was a member of the Continental Congress and then its president (1778-1779). George Washington appointed Jay chief justice of the Supreme Court in 1789, a position he held until 1795. He retired from public life at 57, but before doing so he served two terms as governor of New York.

The 15-cent stamp met the international airmail rate to Europe, and starting on January 7, 1963, it also met the three-ounce domestic first-class rate.


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