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Worth the Wait.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

What do Father Theodore Hesburgh, educator of the deaf Robert Panara and fashion designer
Oscar de la Renta have in common?

Well, they're all appearing on U-S stamps this year. But they also died within the past
two or three years.

For decades, no one except Presidents appeared on U-S stamps until 10 years after their
deaths. Then the waiting period was shortened to five years…. And at one point, no wait at
all. But the Postal Service's Board of Governors put the brakes on that.

Every time a really famous American dies, there's a push for a commemoration… right away.
So far, the fastest turnaround was for writer Maya Angelou — 10-and-a-half months.

Right now, there's no set waiting period, but starting next year, it becomes three years.
And honoring living people on U-S stamps is still not allowed, quote, "at the present
time."

Why not? Other countries do it, and not just for their leaders. Canada has honored living
entertainers, Australia, Olympic gold medalists moments after their wins.

Yet the U-S stamp program offers some perspective. After all, if someone is really great
enough for a stamp… that fame should last a few years, no?

I’m Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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