Arago: Martin Luther Issue

Martin Luther Issue

A 20-cent commemorative stamp honoring the 500th anniversary year of the birth of Martin Luther was issued on November 11, 1983, in Washington, DC. The First Day of Issue ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany, on November 10, 1483, and died on February 18, 1546. Luther made significant contributions to universal education, freedom of religion and expression, freedom of the press, and the expansion of knowledge through the translation of Latin into the vernacular and the printing of books. This postage stamp was issued to commemorate his role in the growth of western civilization.

Bradbury Thompson of Riverside, Connecticut, based the stamp design on a portrait of Luther executed in 1533 by Lucas Cranach, Luther's banker, supporter, and close friend. Richard C. Sennett modeled the stamp.

Printed in the photogravure process, the stamp was issued in panes of fifty. It was the seventh stamp produced by the private firms of the American Bank Note Company and J. W. Fergusson and Sons. The plate numbering system, as with all the stamps printed by the partnership, features the letter "A" as a prefix.


Postal Bulletin (October 6, 1983).

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