WALTER LORD Stamp Idea


John Clifford

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Here in the United States, our Postal Service honors the lives of noteworthy Americans by issuing commemorative stamps featuring these individuals.

One category of recognition is for persons noted for their Literary Arts works. This has included Ogden Nash, Zora Neare Hurston, Theodore Geisel ("Dr. Seuss") and recently Katherine Anne Porter.

I would like to see the Postal Service issue a Walter Lord postage stamp.

Of course that won't occur until 2012, as the United States Postal Service has a rule that an individual must be deceased for at least 10 years, first. The exception is former Presidents; they are then honored on a stamp issued on their birth date following their year of death (i.e. Nixon in 1995 & Reagan in 2005).

Hopefully if we lobby the Postal Service, the memory of Walter Lord can be so honored in 2012, a perfect way to remember him, Titanic, and "A Night To Remember".
 

John Clifford

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Thanks for the link, Bob.

I also noted the stamp selection information through the US Postal Service website; see: https://hdusps.esecurecare.net/cgi-bin/hdusps.cfg/php/,snip and http://www.usps.com/communications/organization/csac.htm.

I will draft a proposal to the Postal Service, noting Walter Lord's works, and the tributes given, to both his books (noted on Barnes & Noble's website, for one) and the person.
What I will also do is write to various persons in the Titanic Socities for their thoughts about Walter Lord, and ask if their statements can be forwarded to the the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC). Letters will also be sent to people connected with, or formerly associated with, the Titanic organizations.

As I stated earlier today, "we do have time", since Walter Lord died in 2002; thus no stamp issuance can be made until May 19, 2012, at the earliest date.
The Postal Service recommends ideas be submitted at least three years in advance, to allow the full selection and design process to commence.
Does anyone have a good private photo of Walter Lord?
(No commercial-type images can be used; why none of the "Legends of Hollywood" have an image of their most memorable film character used).

Another thought: if anyone else would like to draft a proposal for a Walter Lord stamp, they can send their statements to:
Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
Stamp Development
US Postal Service
1735 North Lynn Street
Room 5013
Arlington VA 22209-6432

Hopefully by mid-2012, we'll see a stamp image of Walter Lord, with the Titanic in the background (great idea Samuel), similar to the current Katherine Anne Porter (author of "Ship of Fools") stamp.

Edited link due to width requirements - JDT
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Good luck, John. Back in the 1980's I tried to get a double release set of companion stamps for the Ice Patrol which had a great design of a C-130 flying over a berg, and the Titanic, and was told, after much letter-writing that the Titanic was a British ship, therefore of no interest to the Postal department. Of course Walter is an all-American guy so maybe you will have some luck.
 

John Clifford

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Shelley, one of the rules the Postal Service lists, for stamp selection criteria is "Events of historical significance shall be considered for commemoration only on anniversaries in multiples of 50 years".

Thus, the Centennial of the International Ice Patrol will be coming up in 2013/2014. Perhaps the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee may reconsider your proposal.

In the meantime, I need to contact K.M. at Trans-Atlantic Designs; perhaps an image of Walter Lord placed in front of the Titanic, might be a worthwhile image, especially if a draft of a T.A.D. image can be used (with the appropriate copyright listed).
 
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sharon rutman

Guest
Great idea! But I thought it took l0 years after the of a person to have a stamp issued in his/her honor. The only exceptions are presidents who get commemorative stamps issued almost immediately. Imagine a commemorative stamp on the 100th anniversary of the disaster which almost coincides with the l0th anniversary of walter's !
 

John Clifford

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Sharon, I am hoping that a commemorative stamp, for Walter Lord, can be issued in 2012. If not at the anniversary of the sinking, then perhaps around the date of the conclusion of the U.S. Senate hearings, but I do realize the issuance will likely be after May 19, 2012.
 

Bob Godfrey

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You don't have to be a President to be featured on a US postage stamp when very recently dead or even when still living. But when that happens, as it did back in 1945 to meet a huge public demand, you can be sure it's a very special occasion.

112668.jpg
 

John Clifford

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This weekend I will work on a proposal statement, to send to the Postal Service's Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee.

I have obtained microfilm copies of the obituaries that were featured in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. I will also check through my various Titanic books, for classic pictures of Walter Lord; that will include checking issues of the THS Commutator.

Shelley, in my proposal statement, I will probably include excerpts of your tribute pages, with a notation as to the web page source.

I will also collect data from various websites, again noting the web page sources and citations. That will assist me in listing Walter Lord's various works, and noting the positive comments posted on these sites.

The only thing is that NO comments made on ET will be included.

I have also sent out letters to some of my friends in the Titanic Societies, to see what information they can provide. Also, general inquiry letters were sent to five of the Titanic Societies, both here in the United States and in Europe.

The other thing I am waiting for is whether or not Trans-Atlantic Designs has any objections to my using copies of Titanic prints for a draft image of what I think the stamp should look like. Of course, the copyright issue for Trans-Atlantic Designs and Ken Marschall will be clearly stated.

The Postal Service would, of course, be responsible for commissioning a print of the image of Walter Lord.

What would be ideal is to have an image of the Titanic at night, behind an image of Walter Lord, to recognize Walter, and pay tribute to "A Night to Remember".
 
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John, I have put out the word to see if anyone has any photos or items which may be useful. I have some photos of Walter if these would be helpful.
 
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sharon rutman

Guest
John, the date you chose to unveil the proposed Walter Lord memorial stamp, May 19, 2012 would fall on the anniversary of his . How sad, but it's a fitting way to memorialize his life. I'll always use that stamp (if it does come out) whenever I mail out the bills.
 

John Clifford

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Thanks for the compliments, Sharon and Michael.

I will be gathering my data about Walter Lord and his books this weekend, as well as work on the proposal letter.

I also noted this idea on two other Titanic Discussion sites; will see what I hear.

As I also said, earlier, if anyone else would like to draft their own proposal for a Walter Lord stamp, they can send their statements and documents to:
Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
Stamp Development
US Postal Service
1735 North Lynn Street
Room 5013
Arlington VA 22209-6432.
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Hi John,

This is a terrific idea! I believe Walter Lord deserves a commemorative stamp in his honour and hopefully it will be seriously considered by the committee.

Perhaps the painting on the most recent edition of "A Night to Remember" could be used, along with a photo of Walter in the foreground.
 
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A new stamp in the literary series just came out with Katherine Porter on it-#21 in the series of great authors and poets. I was told when I wrote years ago for the Ice Patrol stamp that this can take 3 years to get put into motion so it is not too early. Writing letters of support also does a lot of good too! I would also underline the enormous body of Lord's work, much of which covers American historical topics, and not Titanic and A Night to Remember only.
 

John Clifford

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One person wrote back to me: he met Walter Lord several years ago, at a THS Conversation. Unfortunately, Walter Lord and he were not able to have a good conversation (Walter was a popular guest at THS venues).

My friend noted that the Literary Arts stamp issues have featured writers of fiction. However, it can be noted that Katherine Anne Porter did pen a memoir about the Sacco-Vanzetti trial of 1921 ("The Never Ending Wrong", her final work).

Anyway, I will be sure and emphasize Walter's various books dealing with items of American History.
For "A Night to Remember", I will note how Walter Lord made sure the story was none to future generations, and how he noted the various changes made afterwards, some drawn on the report of the United States Senate Committee chaired by Senator Smith. I will also note how many Americans were on the ship, the casualty figures among Americans, including the fact that three of the casualties were employees of the Postal Service, assigned to deliver the mail to the Postal authorities when the ship reached New York. That last item I will work on being worded tactfully.

I will work on things this weekend (tomorrow is my day off); hopefully by the middle of next week I'll be ready to send off my proposal.
 
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John, you may also wish to enlist the aid of the Princeton and Yale Alumni societies, both of which are very influential and boast an impressive roster of well-known and celebrated alumni. A letter to these groups detailing the plan to honor one of their own would generate a flood of support I am sure. Sharon, I hope you kept a copy of the excellent presentation on Walter's life which you gave in Baltimore at the TIS convention honoring Walter on his 76th birthday. His clubs and societies would also be pleased to send letters of support I am sure, the New York Historical Society at 77th and Central Park West being one which springs to mind immediately. If you can write up a short proposal of intent about the stamp, I know TIS can get it on the website immediately and the next issue of Voyage. The current issue just mailed out so we just missed the summer edition.
 

John Clifford

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Sounds great Shelley. I will work on it this weekend and next, and email you the information.

I will also send an inquiry to the New York Historical Society.

Another letter was sent to the South Street Seaport museum. I'll see what information is sent to me.

I will also check my Commutators, see what was noted for Walter Lord, especially the THS tributes.
 

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