WASHINGTON - The U.S. Postal Service will honor the 150th anniversary of California's statehood with the issuance of the California Statehood commemorative postage stamp on Sept. 8 in Sacramento.
Part of the Postal Service's Statehood series, the new First-Class stamp will be dedicated at a noon ceremony to be held during the state's three-day Admission Day 2000 event on the steps of the State Capitol.
"With the issuance of the California Statehood stamp, we believe all Americans will be pleased with the portrayal of our 31st state in this miniature work of art," said Deborah Willhite, Postal Service Senior Vice President, Government Relations and Public Policy, who will dedicate the stamp.
"This beautiful stamp is a wonderful example of how the U.S. stamp program provides an inexpensive but exciting way for everyone, everyday, to enjoy and appreciate the history and natural wonders of this great nation," she said.
Joining Willhite at the event will be California Governor Gray Davis; Carl Herrman, the stamp's designer and a resident of Carlsbad, Calif. Also representing the Postal Service will be Benjamin Torres, District Manager, Sacramento District.
"Californians are proud of our state's great heritage and enthusiastic about our 150th birthday celebration," said Governor Gray Davis. "The United States Postal Service's commemorative stamp is a magnificent addition to our Celebrating California line-up and a fitting tribute to the spectacular beauty our state offers. We thank the Postal Service for giving us such a wonderful keepsake of this year's festivities."
On Feb. 2, 1848, Mexico and the United States signed a treaty ending the Mexican War. As part of the peace treaty, Mexico agreed to cede a vast portion of the Southwest, including present-day California, to the United States.
Several days earlier, on Jan. 24, 1848, gold had been discovered at Sutter's Mill on the American River near Sacramento. The ensuing gold rush hastened the territory's admittance to the Union, and California became the 31st state on Sept. 9, 1850.
The stamp art features a color photograph of cliffs at the southern end of California's Big Sur coastline, just south of Ragged Point. Iceplant is blooming in the foreground. The photograph was taken in May 1966 by Art Wolfe, of Seattle, Wash.
Wolfe's photographs are recognized for their mastery of color, composition, and perspective. His unique approach to nature photography is based on his training in the arts and his love of the environment. Wolfe was named "1993 Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year" by the North American Nature Photography Association and "1996 Photographer of the Year" by "Photo Media" magazine.