booker t. washington portrait

BTW Commemorative Stamp

Honoring Booker T. Washington, Issued in 1956

BTW 1956 Commemorative Stamp


1956 Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Booker T. Washington in a log cabin on a tobacco farm near Hale's Ford (Hardy) Virginia

The Booker T. Centennial had some Good Company!

Other '56 3¢ Special Issues

Benjamin Franklin's 250th
Liberty - In God We Trust
Children & Friendship

1956 Ben Franklin Stamp 1956 Statue of Liberty stamp 1956 Friendship-Key to World Peace

How The US Postal Service (USPS) Selects Commemoratives

(adapted from the USPS website) The USPS and a Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) apply twelve basic criteria to determine the eligibility of a subject for commemoration. The criteria were first established 30+ years ago and have been gradually refined and expanded ever since.

  1. The general policy is that U.S. postage stamps primarily will feature American or American-related subjects.
  2. No living person shall be honored by portrayal on U.S. postage.
  3. Commemorative stamps honoring individuals usually will be issued on or in conjunction with significant anniversaries of their birth, but no postal item will be issued sooner than ten years after the individual's death. The only exception to the ten-year rule is the issuance of stamps honoring deceased U.S. presidents. They may be honored with a memorial stamp on the first birth anniversary following death.
  4. Events of historical significance shall be considered for commemoration only on anniversaries in multiples of 50 years.
  5. Only events, persons, and themes of widespread national appeal and significance will be considered for commemoration. Events, persons or themes of local or regional significance may be recognized by a philatelic or special postal cancellation, which may be arranged through the local postmaster.
  6. Stamps shall not be issued to honor fraternal, political, sectarian, or service/charitable organizations. Stamps or stationery shall not be issued to promote or advertise commercial enterprises or products. Commercial products or enterprises might be used to illustrate more general concepts related to American culture.
  7. Stamps shall not be issued to honor cities, towns, municipalities, counties, primary or secondary schools, hospitals, libraries, or similar institutions. Due to limitations on annual postal programs and the vast number of such locales, organizations and institutions in existence, it would be difficult to single out any one for commemoration.
  8. Requests for observance of statehood anniversaries will be considered for commemorative postage stamps only at intervals of 50 years from the date of the state's first entry into the Union.
  9. Stamps shall not be issued to honor religious institutions or individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings or beliefs.
  10. Stamps or postal stationery items with added values, referred to as "semi-postals," shall be issued every two years in accordance with Public Law 106253. Semi-postals will not be considered as part of the commemorative program and separate criteria will apply.
  11. Requests for commemoration of universities and other institutions of higher education shall be considered only for stamped cards and only in connection with the 200th anniversaries of their founding.
  12. No stamp shall be considered for issuance if one treating the same subject has been issued in the past 50 years. The only exceptions to this rule are traditional themes such as national symbols and holidays.
    Subjects should be submitted at least three years in advance of the proposed date of issue to allow sufficient time for consideration and for design and production, if the subject is approved.

"Wait... Why not a Booker T. Commemorative Stamp for his 150th?"

The BTW Society did request the US Postal Service to issue a BTW Commemorative, but its "Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee" informed us that requests must be submitted 3 years in advance. Oh, well.