(P-0001) In 1938, the United States Post Office issued a new commemorative postage stamp honoring Iowa’s 100th Anniversary of Becoming a U.S. Territory. Interestingly, the 3-cent stamp featured a beautiful etching of the Old Stone Capitol in Iowa City, but the stamp was released – First Day of Issue – in Des Moines!
(S-0006) (S-0063) Here are a plate bock and a full sheet of the Iowa Territorial Centennal stamp.
One clever stamp collector – Al Burns in Holton, Kansas – knew his Iowa history, and decided to get the story straight by having his first day covers postmarked in Iowa cities that were more actively involved with our Territorial history than Des Moines! These three covers are very rare indeed. While Des Moines was picked as the First Day of Issue City for the Iowa Territorial Centennial Stamp issued on August 24, 1938, these three cities in eastern Iowa really had more significance. Fortunately, Al got these three covers postmarked in Dubuque, Burlington, and Iowa City on that same day! After buying his stamps in Des Moines – at the State Fair – he had a little bit of driving to get to all three cities on August 24th – but well worth the effort!
(L-0109)Here’s a very rare collectible featuring the 1938 Iowa Territorial Centennial stamp on a First Day Cover that was sent personally to a friend in New Jersey by the U.S. Postmaster General James A. Farley. Farley had quite the reputation when he served as Postmaster during much of the Roosevelt presidency (1933-1940). He is credited with saving the U.S. Post Office during the depression years but also made a name for himself as a politician who regularly used his position for much personal gain. Read more about Farley and the N.R.A. stamp issued in Nira, Iowa in 1933.
(S-0043)1938 – Iowa Territorial Centennial Exposition in Council Bluffs. In the midst of the Great Depression, Iowa choose to celebrate our Iowa Territorial Centennial by sponsoring an Exposition (Fair) in Council Bluffs. From August 7 through September 5, tens of thousands gathered to see the many exhibits in Dodge Park. Fair organizers worked with the WPA to invest $75,000 into the project, leaving the city with new public buildings after the Exposition closed.