Digest>Archives> July 2007

Wickie’s Wisdom

Postage Stamps

By Timothy Harrison

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This past June the United States Postal Service finally honored the West Coast with a series of five new lighthouse postage stamps. This was long overdue, especially considering some of the frivolous postage stamps that the United States Postal Service has issued since the last set of lighthouse postage stamps.

The Lighthouses of the Pacific postage stamps will certainly help draw interest in lighthouses, something that is highly needed by the lighthouse community and I’m elated about the stamps that honor these historic and beautiful lighthouses.

However, the general public still does not know the history of our lighthouses and the important role they played in the development of our nation. Most have never even heard of the United States Lighthouse Service or the many famous Americans who were associated with lighthouses in one way or another in management, construction, or the keepers of the historic beacons. This is a real shame.

A number of years ago we tried to convince the lighthouse community to help us with a national petition drive to convince the Postal Service to issue a series of postage stamps with the emblem of the United States Lighthouse Service and images of some of the people associated with it. Some helped us others did not. The signed petitions we submitted apparently fell on deaf ears and the only thing we ever received back from the United States Postal Service was a series of form letters.

Maybe it’s now time to take a different course of action to draw attention to lighthouses. So, I would propose that all lighthouse groups start a petition drive to ask the United States Postal Service to honor the work and memory of Kenneth Black, who was known to so many as, “Mr. Lighthouse.” Ken did more to start the lighthouse preservation movement than anyone I know. The Maine Lighthouse Museum is just one of things that is evident by that statement. If you want to learn more about the life of “Mr. Lighthouse,” simply look back in the past issues of Lighthouse Digest or do a search on the Internet.

It’s up to you as an individual and up to every lighthouse group in the nation to help this initiative. Make up a petition form and gather the signatures. It’s as simple as that.

Send the signed petition or your letter to:

Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee

Stamp Development-U S Postal Service

1735 North Lynn St. Room 5013

Arlington, VA 22209-6432

This story appeared in the July 2007 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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