A 20-cent commemorative stamp honoring the 50th anniversary year of the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934 was issued on February 10, 1984, in Salem, Massachusetts, the birthplace of Edward A. Filene, who is considered by many to be the father of the credit union movement in the United States. The First Day of Issue ceremony was held at the Hawthorne Inn.
The first credit union in the United States was established in 1909 at Manchester, New Hampshire. By 1934, the number had reached 2,028. On June 26 of that year, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act, which enabled "credit unions to be organized everywhere in the United States under charters from the federal government." By 1984, when this stamp was issued, there were about 20,000 credit unions nationwide with total assets of approximately $90 billion.
The stamp's design, by Michael David Brown of Rockville, Maryland, features silhouetted faces, representing savers of all ages, against a stylized rendering of a coin and a dollar sign. The modeler was Clarence Holbert.
The production approach used for this stamp was unusual. The Credit Union Act stamp was one of four different panes of commemorative stamps printed simultaneously on the same sheet. This stamp was printed in the lower right pane positions only. The three other 1984 commemorative stamps printed by the quadrant printing method honor the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (upper left pane), National Archives (lower left pane), and Soil and Water Conservation (upper right pane).
The stamp was printed in the photogravure process, with fifty stamps per pane.
Postal Bulletin (January 12, 1984).