To celebrate "Disney Romance," the United States Post Office is releasing a set of four thirty-nine cent stamps featuring Disney couples Mickey & Minnie, Beauty & the Beast, Cinderella & Prince Charming and Lady & the Tramp. It is the third in the "Art of Disney" series. The first two series were devoted to "Friendship" and "Celebration" and were unveiled at ceremonies at the Disneyland Resort in 2004 and 2005.
This Friday's unveiling ceremony got me to thinking about the history of Disney postage stamps.
September 11th is now a day associated with sadness and heroism and probably will only be remembered for the tragedy surrounding the events of that day. However, for many years previously that date held a special place in the hearts of Disney fans because the very first Disney postage stamp was released on September 11, 1968.
"No Disney cartoon characters appear on the stamp with Walt because we couldn't copyright the design. Since the stamp would be used on letters traveling all over the world, we worked into the design our world-wide characters from 'It's A Small World'," Bob told me in 1983 when I questioned him about the final design.
Two years later in 1970, the tiny European Republic of San Marino issued a set of stamps showing Mickey, Donald, Goofy Uncle Scrooge and five others including one stamp with a picture of Walt Disney and a scene from "Jungle Book," the last animated film in production when Walt passed away. This was the first time in the history of postage stamps to the best of my knowledge and research that animated characters had appeared on postage stamps. Obviously, the stamps were issued to generate funds for the small country (San Marino in an enclave of Italy is the third smallest state in Europe, somewhere around the size of Washington D.C) since it was highly unlikely that people purchasing the stamps could actually use them for postage outside of San Marino.
"On Sunday, October 1, 1989 at 10:00 am, Exxon's 'Universe of Energy' at Epcot was the site of the First Day of Issue Ceremony for the new United States Dinosaur postage stamps. According to U.S. Postal authorities, the pavilion was chosen because the examples of the Tyrannosaurus, Pteranodon, Brontosaurus and Stegosaurus pictured on the four stamps were all 'permanent residents' of the pavilion. Two hundred invited guests attended the ceremony that included a Disney brass band, followed by Disney Vice President Bob Matheison and U.S. Postmaster General Anthony Frank. Clever Disney fans bought 'Universe of Energy' postcards, applied the dinosaur stamps to them and then had them cancelled at the Guest Services counter at Earth Station. Strangely, Disney made no advance announcement of the ceremony so many people missed out on a great opportunity. Just another little Disney historical oddity that has been forgotten over the years."
"Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. Frank Gehry combined thrilling curves with massive, unusual shapes to create the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the exciting fourth venue of the Music Center of Los Angeles County and home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. The stainless steel of the bold exterior contrasts with the warmth of the Douglas Fir paneling in the main auditorium, where patrons sit on all sides of the orchestra. The hall occupies a full city block and boasts state-of-the-art acoustics; it opened in 2003, making it the newest building on this stamp pane. Photograph by Todd Eberle of New York."
Nice site...I'm currently exhibiting a Walt Disney 1968 First Day Cover exhibit and will enter it again in the "Most Popular" championship at an APS show in Charleston, SC, next February. I, along with several other Disney collectors, have extensive collections of the 1968 Disney First Day Covers and postal uses of the Disney stamp. I am also exhibiting early images of Mickey Mouse from early (1930-32) European postcards, early pictorial postage meter cancels, and cornercards since, as Walt used to say, "...it all began with a Mouse!" So far, the exhibit has achieved a silver medal, but I'm trying to work up to a gold. I did see Ken Lawrence's Disney exhibit some years ago. He's sold it now but, from what I understand, it's still intact. I do have some of the items from Ken's exhibit...plus other items similar to what he was exhibiting...so I think there may be SEVERAL Disney exhibits in the material I've been able to gather over the years. The POSTAL aspect of Disney is what I key on, however! The material is tough to come by, it seems! Again, you have a neat article here. In fact, I was recently in Marceline and was able to acquire a signed (by Roy O. Disney, Diane Disney Miller, Paul Wenzel, Robert Moore, and M. Marvin Watson, the PM)First Day Ceremony program from the 1968 stamp issue ceremony there. Neat memento!