Arago: Pre-Columbian America Issue

Pre-Columbian America Issue

The 25-cent commemorative stamp in the new AMERICA Series, which celebrates the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America, went on sale October 12, 1989, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. These first issues in the AMERICA Series marked the beginning of a four-year philatelic celebration.

Joining the US Postal Service in the four-year celebration were the postal administrations from the twenty-three-member nations of the Postal Union of the Americas and Spain (PUAS). Each nation's first AMERICA Series stamps honored the customs, images, and traditions of native Americans whose tribes and ancient civilizations existed prior to Columbus' arrival on American shores.

The stamp features a reproduction of a carved ritual figure of the American Mimbres, a Southwest United States Indian culture that existed before Columbus.

Since its inception in 1931, the PUAS has worked to enhance communications by mail and promote the common interest of philately among member countries. Originally founded in 1911 as the South American Postal Union, it consisted of only ten South American states. Today, the PUAS boasts member nations from North America, Central America, South America, and Spain.

Lon Busch of St. Louis, Missouri, designed the stamp. Busch also designed the 45-cent airmail stamp that was issued in conjunction with the commemorative issue and the 1989 Pan American Games stamp.

The stamps were printed in the photogravure process by the American Bank Note Company and issued in panes of fifty.


Postal Bulletin (September 28, 1989).

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