This 22-cent commemorative stamp was issued on May 11, 1985, in Madison, South Dakota, to honor the 50th anniversary of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). The stamp was available at post offices nationwide on the next business day, May 13. The design for the stamp was unveiled February 5, 1985, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the REA by executive order on May 11, 1935. It was permanently established by Act of Congress on May 20, 1936, which authorized it to serve as a lending agency and develop a program for rural electrification. The REA became part of the Department of Agriculture.
In 1935 only about one out of ten farms had electricity. Since its inception, the REA had approved almost $60 billion in loans to assist millions of consumers of electricity and telephone service subscribers. In 1985 there were almost 1,000 user-owned rural electric systems in the United States delivering electricity to 25 million rural Americans.
The stamp was designed by Howard Koslow of East Norwich, New York; typographer and art director was Bradbury Thompson of Riverside, Connecticut; modeler was Clarence Holbert; engraver was Gary Slaght (letters and numerals). The gravure/intaglio process was used. The stamps were issued in panes of fifty.
Postal Bulletin (April 11, 1985).