Tags: Year | of | Rat

U.S. Stamp Celebrates China's 'Year of Rat'

Saturday, 29 Dec 2007 10:52 PM

The U.S. Postal Service revealed its upcoming stamps for 2008.

According to the Service's press release, "the 2008 stamp program recognizes a range of subjects as diverse as America itself, from the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrated in Chinatowns all over the country, to 20th century movie icons and literary figures, to the flags of our states and territories."

Joining the likes of Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra, journalist Eric Severeid, and numerous other notable Americans, the Post Office will kick off its new stamp series this January by celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year with the issuance of the Celebrating Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat stamp.

The rat is the first of 12 animals associated with the Chinese lunar calendar. The Post Office says that people born in the Year of the Rat are said to be industrious, adaptable and ambitious.

The Year of the Rat begins Feb. 7, 2008, and ends Jan. 25, 2009. The stamp will be dedicated 11 a.m. PT, Jan. 9 at the Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco.

Other notables to be commemorated:

  • Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
    Best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Yearling and her memoir Cross Creek, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings will be commemorated on Feb. 21 at the site of her Cross Creek, FL, home. Rawlings is remembered for a series of short stories, novels and non-fiction works about life in the Florida backwoods. Her memoir spurred readers to urge her to write Cross Creek Cookery. Rawlings' collections of southern recipes remain a popular addition to many kitchen libraries today.

  • Theoretical physicist John Bardeen (1908-1991) co-invented the transistor, arguably the most important invention of the 20th century. Bardeen also collaborated on the first fundamental explanation of superconductivity at low temperatures, a theory which has had a profound impact on many fields of physics.

  • Astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) played a pivotal role in deciphering the vast and complex nature of the universe. His meticulous studies of spiral nebulae proved the existence of galaxies other than our own Milky Way, paving the way for a revolutionary new understanding that the cosmos contains myriad separate galaxies, or "island universes."

  • Structural chemist Linus Pauling (1901-1994) determined the nature of the chemical bond linking atoms into molecules. He routinely crossed disciplinary boundaries throughout his career and made significant contributions in several diverse fields. His pioneering work on protein structure was critical in establishing the field of molecular biology and his studies of hemoglobin led to many findings, including theclassification of sickle cell anemia as a molecular disease.

  • Eric Sevareid (1912-1992) was a writer for the New York Herald Tribune and later a broadcast journalist for CBS radio recruited by Edward R. Murrow. He covered World War II, reporting on the approach of the Germans to Paris, the exodus from the city and on life in London during wartime. In 1943, while en route to China, Sevareid parachuted from a disabled plane and emerged from the jungle on foot some time later. His later television commentaries in the 1960s and 1970s on the CBS Evening News were widely admired.

  • Frank Sinatra
    The Postal Service honors Frank Sinatra (1915-1998), an Oscar-winning actor and supreme interpreter of American popular song. Art director Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, AZ, and stamp artist Kazuhiko Sano of Mill Valley, CA, chose to present this iconic figure in a portrait based on a publicity photograph. In a 50-year career studded with accolades, Sinatra won several Grammys, received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1971, and was recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983. Sinatra gave generously to many charities and was noted for his philanthropy. President Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985. Sinatra was a native of Hoboken, NJ, where the Post Office was renamed in his honor.

    An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that visits every address in the nation, 146 million homes and businesses, six days a week. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to pay for operating expenses, not tax dollars. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world's mail.

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