Unveiling of Alabama’s Bicentennial Stamp
Posted February 25, 2019
On February 23, 2019, the Bicentennial Commission packed its bags and traveled to Huntsville, Alabama for the unveiling of the USPS® Alabama Commemorative Forever ® Stamp. The stamp was designed by art director William J. Gicker, and features Joe Miller’s stunning shot of Pulpit Rock, overlooking the Talladega National Forest from the side of Mount Cheaha. The mountain is the highest natural point in Alabama, a fitting summit from which to celebrate 200 years of Alabama history.
Due to weather concerns, the Stamp unveiling was held inside at EarlyWorks Children’s History Museum in downtown Huntsville. The museum works to help younger generations engage with history, and people of all ages enjoyed a convivial and lively atmosphere surrounding the main event, including two youngsters dressed as postal workers. They took their jobs seriously, delivering postcards designed by the Commission’s own Austin Simmons. The well-attended event included state legislators, as well as representatives of the Encyclopedia of Alabama, veteran postal workers, school children, and a large contingent of stamp enthusiasts. Also present for the philatelic festivities was the 1969 sesquicentennial stamp, featuring the Camellia flower and the Yellowhammer, which lent a vintage touch to the celebration.
Guests lined up early to purchase their own stamps, and the Bicentennial Commission was there as well, distributing beads, buttons, postcards, and flags, with the help of some enthusiastic elementary school children. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh offered opening remarks, as did State Senator and Master of Ceremonies Arthur Orr. Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives, Mac McCutcheon, also made remarks, during which he exhorted the legislators in attendance to commit themselves to further progress in our state. During the commemoration the audience was treated to a rendition of the National Anthem by the Lee High Magnet School Orchestra, and a Presentation of Colors by the Columbia High School Flying Eagles JROTC Color Guard. Isaac Cronkhite, Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President, USPS, handled the official stamp dedication, and Jeff Woodard, Clerk of the Alabama House of Representatives, donned a historic top hat to call the roll. He did so according to which county each current representative would have hailed from in 1819. Members of the legislature used an old-fashioned quill pen to sign the official documents. The Bicentennial Commission is honored to have helped celebrate the stamp unveiling in the Rocket City and is grateful to all those who helped organize and manage this exciting event.
Joe Miller, the Alabama photographer whose photo was used for the Commemorative Stamp, said he was as surprised as anyone when his picture was chosen. “I was just tickled to have it used!” he said, in particular because of “how many other excellent photographers there are in the area.” For Mr. Miller, Pulpit Rock is a peaceful place, as are many other locales in Northeast Alabama. “We’re blessed to have so many beautiful areas to see.” Mr. Miller loves to travel, but always finds time to explore his stomping grounds throughout the state. The Bicentennial Commission thanks him for his dedication! To see more of his work, follow the link below. -Karl Galloway
Photo Credit: Jamie Martin, Alabama Tourism Department & Austin Simmons, Alabama Bicentennial Commission