(UNDATED) – The U.S. Postal Service Thursday issued the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor stamp. The Forever stamp was dedicated in a virtual ceremony and is being sold at Post Office locations nationwide and online at usps.com/mayflower.
“The Postal Service is proud to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival off the coast of New England in December 1620,” said dedicating official Kristin Seaver, chief retail and delivery officer and executive vice president, U.S. Postal Service. “This stamp reflects the Postal Service’s commitment to honor our nation’s diversity, heritage and history through our stamp program.”
Seaver was joined for the ceremony by Dr. George P. Garmany Jr., governor general, General Society of Mayflower Descendants; Michele Pecoraro, executive director, Plymouth 400; and Richard Pickering, deputy director, Plimoth Plantation. The virtual stamp event can be viewed on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
On Dec. 16, 1620, a ship that carried 102 English passengers completed a perilous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, England, and anchored offshore of today’s Plymouth, MA. The Mayflower’s passengers would become known to us as Pilgrims, and the story of their settlement in America would inspire future generations and become part of the larger story of the nation’s founding ideals.
The Pilgrims’ story is intertwined with the story of the Wampanoag — People of the First Light — who made an alliance with the Pilgrims and forged a treaty with them that maintained relative peace for more than 50 years. The Pilgrims might not have survived their first year without the help and advice of the Wampanoag, with whom they celebrated their first harvest in the fall of 1621.
The Mayflower Compact, Plymouth Rock, Thanksgiving — all became part of the enduring legacy of this tiny band of settlers, whom we honor on the 400th anniversary of their arrival in America.
Artist Greg Harlin illustrated the stamp, using a combination of watercolor, gouache and acrylics, with some digital refining to convey a scene of desolate beauty at the end of the Pilgrims’ harrowing journey to an unfamiliar world. The stamp also features a stylized hawthorn flower printed in intaglio. In England, the hawthorn — a member of the rose family — is sometimes called a mayflower, as it blooms in May.
Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp and pane.
The Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp, which will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price. News of the stamp is being shared on social media using the hashtag #MayflowerStamp.
Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the Postal Store at usps.com/shop, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.