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John Ford’s Stamp of Approval

By Bennett Owen

Credit: Baltimoresun

The US Postal Service is honoring legendary filmmaker John Ford with his own stamp.  It’s a ‘forever’ version, meaning it will be good for as long as there is a post office, which in this day and age is not a foregone conclusion. One thing is for certain, Ford has achieved immortality based on the scene portrayed on the stamp, the broad shoulders of John Wayne and Monument Valley, the scenery Ford claimed was the true star of his westerns. Here it is, one of the most famous opening scenes in cinematic history:

Yeah, pretty flashy opening, but give me Liberty Valance any day. Ford made 140 movies including an incredible 45 made during the silent era. He now joins a long list of western icons honored with postage stamps over the years. Here are our 10 favorites:

C.M. Russell  - Simply the greatest western painter of all time 

Credit: usstampgallery

Sitting Bull – The great Sioux warrior and holy man, forever linked with the Battle of Little Bighorn


Montana Centennial Stamp – The Treasure State – Big Sky Country – CM Russell, take another bow

Credit: usstampgallery

Western Cattle in a Storm – Considered one of the most beautiful US postage stamps, released in 1898 with a one-dollar value! The image actually depicts a scene in Scotland!

Credit: dawandastatic

Bill Pickett – An extraordinary cowboy and creator of Bulldogging – Steer Wrestling. The image on the first stamp was actually his brother! Ooops! The original, incorrect stamp featuring Bill’s brother, Ben Pickett:

Bill Pickett Postage Stamp, c.1994. This is the revised stamp that replaced the initial recalled stamp on which Bill’s bother Ben was illustrated:

Credit: hmdb

Buffalo Bill Cody – No, not the football team! An adventurer and one of America’s first great showmen. The stamp was released in 1989 as part of the USPS Great Americans series.  

Credit: Media Bucket

Hank Williams  - The greatest country-western singer/songwriter of them all.

Credit: philosateleia

Sacagewea – She helped Lewis and Clark find the Pacific Ocean. I guess men were hesitant to ask directions back in those days too.

Credit: Photobucket

Pony Express – “Wanted – Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Orphans preferred” Wonder what the postage was for a New York – San Francisco letter back then?

Credit: exponentgroup

John Wayne – We can’t honor John Ford without John Wayne. Duke’s stamp was issued last year as part of the Legends of Hollywood series.

Credit: fanpop

Reader Comments (1)

I'm really enjoying this blog. As an amateur stamp collector, I'm looking forward to the new Ford stamp.

August 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeb91

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