United States Postal Service issued the 2-cent Cape Hatteras National Seashore stamps as a block of four on April 5, 1972, in Hatteras, North Carolina. They commemorated the centennial of the National Park Service and the establishment of Cape Hatteras National Seashore on North Carolina's Outer Banks. Each of the four individual stamps features a complete seashore scene, but they create a complete larger scene when viewed as a block of four.
On August 17, 1937, Congress authorized the establishment of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, but the park was not officially opened until 1953. As planned, it includes 62,000 acres, stretching from the Virginia state line to Hatteras Inlet. The park preserves the area's "primitive wilderness" and provides recreational access to the public.
At the time, the domestic first-class rate for one-ounce letters was six cents, but it increased to eight cents on May 16, 1971. Therefore, patrons could use a 2-cent Cape Hatteras National Seashore stamp with a 6-cent stamp to pay the postage on a first-class letter.
Walter D. Richards designed the stamps, of which 172 million sets were issued - that is, approximately 43 million of each stamp.
Postal Bulletin (February 17, 1972).
Binkley, Cameron. The Creation and Establishment of Cape Hatteras National Seashore: The Great Depression through Mission 66. Southeast Regional Office, Cultural Resource Division, National Park Service. August 2007.
Kloetzel, James E. ed. 2009 Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers. 87th ed. Sidney, Ohio: Scott Publishing Co. 2008.