Lena Horne (U.S. 2018)

From the USPS; further updates will appear after the initial, introductory entry:

Lena Horne (Black Heritage series)The 41st issuance in the Black Heritage series honors the achievements of legendary performer and civil rights activist Lena Horne (1917–2010). Remembered as one of America’s great interpreters of popular songs, Horne also was a trailblazer in Hollywood for women of color. She used her personal elegance, charisma and fame to become an important spokesperson for civil rights.

This stamp will be issued January 30th in New York City, with a first-day ceremony.

From the USPS, December 28th:
Postal Service to Salute Black History Month
Dedicating Lena Horne Black Heritage Forever Stamp

What: The U.S. Postal Service will honor legendary performer and civil rights activist Lena Horne on the 41st stamp in the Black Heritage stamp series. Please share the news using hashtags #LenaHorneForever and #BlackHeritageStamps.

When: Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, 10:30 a.m., Eastern Standard Time

Where: Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street
New York, NY 10025

Background: Lena Horne was a trailblazer in Hollywood for women of color and used her fame as an entertainer to become an important civil rights spokesperson.

The stamp art features a photograph of Lena Horne taken by Christian Steiner in the 1980s. Kristen Monthei colorized the original black-and-white photo, adding a background reminiscent of Horne’s Stormy Weather album, with a few clouds to add texture and subtly make the album reference. “Lena Horne” is written along the bottom of the stamp, with “Black Heritage,” the stamp series title, at the top. “USA” and “Forever” appear on the lower right-hand side above Horne’s name. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp.

Updated January 5th from the Postal Bulletin:

On January 30, 2018, in New York, NY, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the Lena Horne First-Class Mail® stamp (Forever® priced at 50 cents) in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (476900). The stamp will go on sale nationwide January 30, 2018.

The 41st stamp issue in the Black Heritage series honors the achievements of legendary performer and civil rights activist Lena Horne (1917–2010). The stamp art features a photograph taken by Christian Steiner in the 1980s. Kristen Monthei colorized the black-and-white photograph. Remembered as one of America‘s great interpreters of popular songs, Horne was also a trailblazer in Hollywood for women of color. She used her personal elegance, charisma, and fame to become an important spokesperson for civil rights. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp

Stamp Fulfillment Services (SFS) will make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices™ of a quantity to cover approximately 30 days of sales.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at usps.com/shop, or by phone at 800-782-6724. They must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

FDOI – Lena Horne Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by March 30, 2018.

Philatelic products for this stamp issue are as follows:

  • 476906 Press Sheet with Die-cut, $60.00.
  • 476910 Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, $11.95.
  • 476916 First-Day Cover, $0.94.
  • 476921 Digital Color Postmark, $1.65.
  • 476924 Framed Art, $39.95.
  • 476930 Ceremony Program, $6.95.

Technical details for the Lena Horne stamp will appear in a future edition of the Postal Bulletin.

Updated January 8th:

Here is the design of the Digital Color Postmark for this issue: It measures 2.41” x 1.47”. Here is the design for the pictorial first-day postmark: It measures 2.95” x 1.40″. Here is the design for the “special” postmark local post offices may use for this issue: It measures 2.82” x 1.48”

Updated January 11, 2018:

Reservations may or may not be necessary for the first-day ceremony, but if you wish to make one (and it couldn’t hurt), click on this link: usps.com/lenahorne

Updated January 21st, from the Postal Bulletin:

Technical Specifications:

Issue: Lena Horne Stamp
Item Number: 476900
Denomination & Type of Issue: First-Class Mail® Forever®
Format: Pane of 20 (1 design)
Series: Black Heritage
Issue Date & City: January 30, 2018, New York, NY 10199
Designer: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Art Director: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Typographer: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Existing Photo: Christian Steiner
Modeler: Sandra Lane/Michelle Finn
Manufacturing Process: Offset, Microprint
Printer: Banknote Corporation of America
Printed at: Browns Summit, NC
Press Type: Alprinta 74
Stamps per Pane: 20
Print Quantity: 35,000,000 stamps
Paper Type: Phosphor Tagged Paper, Block Tag
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive
Processed at: Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit, NC
Colors: Pantone 7407, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black
Stamp Orientation: Vertical
Image Area (w x h): 0.84 x 1.42 in./21.34 x 36.07 mm
Overall Size (w x h): 0.98 x 1.56 in./24.89 x 39.62 mm
Full Pane Size (w x h): 6.00 x 8.50 in./152.40 x 215.90 mm
Press Sheets Size (w x h): 12.00 x 25.75 in./304.80 x 654.05 mm
Plate Size: 240 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: B followed by five (5) single digits
Marginal Markings:
Front: Header: BLACK HERITAGE, Celebrating Lena Horne, 41st IN A SERIES • Plate number in two corners of pane
Back: © 2017 USPS • USPS logo • Barcode (476900) in upper right and lower left corners of pane • Promotional text • Plate position grid

8 thoughts on “Lena Horne (U.S. 2018)

  1. Cancellation artwork in the 4 JAN 18 Postal Bulletin ( PIC & DCP NYC NY 10199 ) as well as an Any Post Office cancel.

  2. I personally don’t care for the Digital Color Postmark first-day cancel at all. It’s a nice design, but says nothing about Lena Horne. It’s just flowers and lettering. I’m sure she liked flowers, but where is there anything musical? -Lloyd

    • The info about the ceremony is posted above. I don’t know that a RSVP is required. None was indicated. I’ll check, though.

      • The Lena Horne ceremony is Jan. 30, 2018 , 10:30 am at Symphony Space. In the press release it stated that you needed to RSVP and further info would be provided. On Wed. it will be 20 days until the event. I like to plan.

        • USPS rep Roy Betts doesn’t believe reservations are NECESSARY but there is a reservation link, which just went active this afternoon: usps.com/lenahorne I’ll also put it in the main body of this page.

          • The USPS has requested reservations for the Lena Horne Stamp Ceremony. Linns put the link on their newsletter website earlier in the week. I have made my reservations. Thank you for responding.

  3. Why couldn’t the stamp have been released LAST June 30th (2017) on the CENTENNIAL of her birth? As far as I know, the date of January 28 has no significance.

    Also, why was a COLORIZED photo used? I think the original B&W would’ve been just as good; and, it’s not like B&Ws haven’t been used before.

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