The American Millennium on Stamps

After taking a look at the British Millennium on Stamps, it’s now high time to look at another extraordinary Millennium collection, this time the one minted in the USA. The USA was one of the pioneers of Millennium stamps, starting their well-devised series as early as 1998. A total of 10 sheets, each with 15 stamps were issued between 1998-2000. Their topics were announced from the very beginning, and are present in the frame of the sheet: art, sports, historical events, technology, entertainment, science, political figures, and lifestyle. Among the many firsts of this Millennium series, I give you a hint: this was the first time the word ‘lifestyle’ made it to a stamp! Speaking of new words – each sheet also contains the new words allegedly coined during the period. Truly educational.

Generally speaking, the stamps are devoted to the American spectrum of events, however, epoch-making events from other geographies are not disregarded completely. Each sheet is devoted to one decade of the 20th century, starting chronologically from the 1900’s and ending in the 1990’s. In addition, each sheet has a title, that sums up the zeitgeist and is supposed to be found on some of the stamps of the sheets. In addition, each gummed stamp has a printed explanation on the back.

The 1900’s: The Dawn of the Twentieth Century


Pictured above: the Tin Lizzie Ford model; Theodore Roosevelt; the movie “The Great Train Robbery“; Crayola pencils; the St. Louis World Exhibition of 1904; the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act; the Kitty Hawk plane of 1903, the Ash Can painter’s movement; the arrival of immigrants; the nature preservation work of John Muir; the creation of the legendary ‘teddy’ bear; the social activism of W.E.B. du Bois; the Gibson Girl fashion; the first World Series of baseball; and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House in Chicago.

New words: cheerleader; filmmaker, phony, psychoanalysis.

The 1910’s: America Looks beyond Its Borders


Pictured above: Charlie Chaplin’s “Little Tramp“; the Federal Reserve System; George Washington Carver; the Armory Show of 1913; the use of telephone lines; the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914; Jim Thorpe’s olympic feats; the Grand Canyon National Park; the entrance of USA in WWI; the USA boy and girl scout movement; the President Woodrow Wilson; the first crossword puzzle in 1913; Jack Dempsey’s boxing title; the emergence of construction toys; and the child labor reform.

New words: camouflage; electronics; troublemaker.

The 1920’s: The Roaring Twenties


Pictured above: Babe Ruth; the style inspired by F.S. Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” known as the “Gatsby style”; the enforcement of prohibition; electric toy trains; the 19th amendment giving to women the right to vote; the Emily Post table etiquette; the anthropology work of Margaret Mead; the emergence of the Charleston; radio entertainment; the Art Deco style; jazz fanatics; college football; the beginning of the Great Depression when the stock market crashed on 24-October, 1929, American realism represented by Edward Hopper’s painting “The Automat“; and Charles Lindbergh’s first nonstop solo Transatlantic flight.

New words: motel, robot, fan mail, teenage.

The 1930’s: Depression, Dust Bowl, and a New Deal


Pictured above: President Franklin D. Roosevelt; the Empire State Building; the first issue in 1936 of Life magazine; the charity work of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; the “New Deal”; the first Superman movie of 1938; the household convenience boom; Walt Disney’s “Snow White“; the bestseller of 1936, Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind“; the six world records of Jesse Owens; the streamline design; the Golden Gate Bridge; the survival of poor America through depression; the 1930 golf Grand Slam won by Bobby Jones; and the Monopoly game.

New words: all-star; pops; pizza; racism.

The 1940’s: World War II Transforms America


Pictured above: World War II; the emerging use of antibiotics; Jackie Robinson; President Harry S. Truman; women supporting WWII effort with the well-known “We can do it!” poster; TV entertainment; the jitterbug dance; the Abstract Expressionism of Jackson Pollock; the GI Bill readjustment program for war veterans; the Big band music; the international style in architecture; the baby boom that followed the war; the Slinky toy; Tennessee Williams’ play “A Streetcar Named Desire“; and the release in 1941 of Orson Welles’  movie”Citizen Kane“.

New words: hot rod; pinup; bikini; self-employed.

The 1950’s: Family Fun, Suburbia, and Nuclear Threats


Pictured above: anti-Polio shots; teenager fashion; the baseball game of NY Giants vs. Brooklyn Dodgers; satellite rockets; the Korea War; the end of racial segregation in schools; the development of the automotive industry; Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat“; drive-in cinemas; baseball derby between NY Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers; Rocky Marciano’s title; the TV show “I Love Lucy“; rock’n’roll; car rallies; 3D image cinemas.

New words: brainwashing;  ballpoint; high-rise; centerfold.

The 1960’s: The Rebellious Sixties and Man on the Moon


Pictured above: Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech; Woodstock; Man walks on the Moon; Green Bay Packers; Star Trek; The Peace Corps; the Vietnam War; the Ford Mustang; the Barbie Doll; the use of integrated circuits; lasers; Super Bowl; the peace symbol; Roger Maris’ 61 homers in one season; the Beatles mania.

New words: hippie, workaholic, scam, skateboard.

The 1970’s: Bicentennial, Watergate, Earth Day


Pictured above: the first Earth Day celebration in 1970; the TV Series “All in the Family“; “Sesame Street“; disco music; the Steelers win four Super Bowls in one decade; the 200th anniversary of the USA; Secretariat, horse of the year; VCR use in households; the mission Pioneer 10; Women’s Rights Movement; the fasion of the 1970’s; Monday night football on TV; the smiley; jumbo jet planes; medical imaging.

New words: junk food, slam dunk, miniseries.

The 1980’s: Space Shuttle Launched, Berlin Wall Falls


Pictured above: the space shuttle program; “Cats“, the musical, the San Francisco 49ers; the return of hostages; figure skating; cable TV; the Vietnam Veteran Memorial; compact discs; the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls; the hit comedy “Cosby Show“; the fall of the Berlin Wall; video games; the movie “E.T. The Extraterrestrial“; personal computers in the office and households; hip hop culture.

New words: yuppie, infomercial, biodiversity.

The 1990’s: In Final Decade, Cold War Ends, Economy Booms


Pictured above: new baseball records; the Gulf War; the sitcom “Seinfeld“; extreme sports; improvements in education; computer art and graphics; the recovering of some endangered species; new space missions; the Special Olympics; virtual reality; the movie “Jurassic Park“; the blockbuster movie “Titanic“; SUV vehicles; the world wide web; cellular phones.

New words: e-commerce, website, Y2K.

Stamps featured in post: 150; Period: contemporary (1998-2000); Pricing: low; Availability: scarce in sheet format or as a whole collection.

Time of issue: 1998: 03-February: the 1900’s, the 1910’s; 28-May: the 1920’s; 10-September: the 1930’s; 1999: 18-February: the 1940’s; 26-May: the 1950’s; 17-September: the 1960’s; 18-November: the 1970’s; 2000: 12-January: the 1980’s; 02-May: the 1990’s.

Michel catalogue no’s (price for mint blocks in € in brackets): The 1900’s: MiNr: 2907-2921 (12€); The 1910’s: MiNr: 2922-2936 (12€); The 1920’s: MiNr: 2951-2965 (12€); The 1930’s: MiNr: 3027-3041 (12€); The 1940’s: MiNr: 3075-3089 (12€); The 1950’s: MiNr: 3123-3137 (12€); The 1960’s: MiNr: 3171-3185 (12€); The 1970’s: MiNr: 3225-3239 (12€); The 1980’s: MiNr: 3243-3257 (12€); The 1990’s: MiNr: 3288-3302 (12€).




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