Postal Service Honors USNA with Stamp


On October 10, 1995, the 150th birthday of the U.S. Naval Academy, the United States Postal Service unveiled a new commemorative stamp honoring the Naval Academy at a public ceremony in Annapolis.

The seamanship, teamwork and character demonstrated by U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen since 1845 is portrayed through the stamp's image of a racing sloop underway against a backdrop of the Academy Chapel.

Deputy Postmaster General Michael S. Coughlin dedicated the new stamp at the Annapolis ceremony in Mahan Hall. Before entering the Postal Service, Coughlin served in the Navy from 1963 to 1966.

Featured speakers at the ceremony included Secretary of the Navy John Dalton (USNA '64), Postal Service Senior Vice President Michael J. Riley (USNA '65), and Naval Academy Superintendent Adm. Charles R. Larson (USNA '58). Commandant of Midshipmen Capt. William T.R. Bogle (USNA '68) served as master of ceremonies.

The stamp, a composite image designed by Dean Ellis of Amagannsett, N. Y., features an image of the Naval Academy's 44-foot sloop Swift. The depiction of Swift is based on a photograph taken by Diane W. Olmstead, publications director of the academy's Public Affairs Office, on a brisk fall day on the Chesapeake.

The Naval Academy has 20 sloops -- 16 for training and four for racing. Dominant colors of the Navy 44's are blue and gold. The Brigade of Midshipmen is particularly proud of Swift, which won the Annapolis to Newport race in 1992.

The background image of the Academy Chapel is based on a photograph taken at Sycamore Point in Eastport by Robert W. Madden, senior assistant editor of National Geographic. The image offers an unusual perspective of the Chapel, not the familiar view from the Severn River. This is the second stamp issued by the Postal Service honoring the Naval Academy. The first was issued at Annapolis on May 26, 1937 -- a five-cent stamp showing two midshipmen standing at attention flanking the academy's official seal.

About 80 million copies of the stamp have been printed, and the Postal Service began selling the stamp nationwide on October 11, 1995.

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