Stamps issued to honor Pete Seeger, Katharine Graham, Title IX


U.S. postage stamps, generally given to benign images of astronauts, deceased actors, and the periodic visage of a bighorn sheep, will get a bit of an edge next year with a trio of new issues honoring a crusading newspaper publisher, an anti-war folk singer and a civil rights law.

Longtime Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, who died in 2001, will be honored with a two-ounce stamp in the “Distinguished Americans” series of what the U.S. Postal Service calls “regular” stamps, the agency said Monday. Unlike commemorative issues, which are generally on sale for only a year, regular issues are designed for long shelf life in the nation’s post offices.

The Graham stamp appears to be the first time a newspaper publisher has appeared on U.S. postage since a 1976 commemorative honoring New York Times publisher Adolph S. Ochs, who bought the paper in 1886.

Graham became president of The Washington Post Company in 1963 and with editor Ben Bradlee defended the paper when it published the Pentagon Papers, leaked documents detailing the history of American involvement in Vietnam. She and Bradlee were also scrutinized over the paper’s Watergate coverage, which contributed to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.

Folksinger Pete Seeger, a left-leaning activist whose 1961 contempt of Congress conviction for refusing to answer questions from the House Un-American Activities Committee was overturned the following year, will be commemorated by an issue in the “Music Icons” series. Mr. Seeger, whose Vietnam War protest song “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy” was seen as a slam of President Lyndon B. Johnson, died in 2014 at age 94.

The 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, will be recognized with four commemorative stamps showing silhouettes of different female athletes: a runner, a swimmer, a gymnast and a soccer player, each wearing a victor’s laurel. 

The stamp announcements come near the end of a year when Postmaster Louis DeJoy, a major fundraiser for President Donald Trump appointed to the job by the Postal Board of Governors last year, has been under attack from congressional Democrats upset over his attempts to retool delivery schedules and bring massive USPS deficits under control.

Mr. DeJoy has the final say on which postage stamps are issued.

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