The Postal Service issued a new $8.75 Express Mail stamp featuring an American bald eagle on October 4, 1988, in Terre Haute, Indiana. The dedication ceremony was at the Hulman Regional Airport.
Following the tradition established with the 1987 Bret Harte stamp, this $8.75 Express Mail issue was produced in the miniature sheet format of twenty stamps per pane. The miniature sheet format yields four plate blocks, leaving only four individual stamps to be sold. Previously, stamps intended for use with Express Mail had been issued in a booklet format only.
Since its inception, Express Mail, the original overnight service, continued to increase the number of options it provides customers. A recent rate change created a new rate category for Express Mail, discounting the cost for mailing letter-size items from $10.75 to $8.75. In 1988, the Postal Service added On-Demand pickup service to allow customers to call during business hours and have their Express Mail shipments picked-up by a letter carrier. Although the stamp was intended primarily for use on Express Mail items, customers could use it as postage for other types of mail.
Designed by Ned Seidler, the stamps were engraved through the intaglio press by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Postal Bulletin (September 15, 1988).