The Postal Service commemorated the 150th anniversary of the first US postage stamps with the issuance of the Benjamin Franklin and George Washington souvenir sheets on May 29 and May 30, 1997, respectively, in San Francisco, California. The Franklin sheet contains twelve 50-cent stamps, and the Washington sheet contains twelve 60-cent stamps. The issuance was held in conjunction with the Pacific 97 World Philatelic Exhibition, held May 29 to June 8, 1997, in San Francisco.
Designed by Richard Sheaff of Norwood, Massachusetts, the Benjamin Franklin souvenir sheet features an offset print reproduction of an enlarged die proof of the original design of the 5-cent Benjamin Franklin stamp issued in 1847, with twelve re-engraved Benjamin Franklin stamps bearing the current denomination of 50-cents, the international postcard rate. The George Washington souvenir sheet, also designed by Richard Sheaff, features an offset print reproduction of an enlarged die proof of the original design of the 10-cent George Washington stamp issued in 1847 with twelve re-engraved George Washington stamps bearing the current denomination of 60-cents, the first-class mail half-ounce international rate. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing printed these stamps.
Postal Bulletin (April 24, 1997).