According to Wikipedia, “Sesame Street” debuted on November 10, 1969. The show’s 50th anniversary press release says a special 50th Anniversary episode is planned for November 2019. But the stamps to celebrate the show were issued June 22.
For the last 50 years, Sesame Street has provided educational programming and entertainment for generations of children throughout the country and around the world. To celebrate a half-century of service to fans of literally all ages, the U.S. Postal Service will issue a 16-stamp commemorative pane of Forever stamps with photographs of some of the most popular characters to inhabit one of America’s most familiar and best beloved thoroughfares.
From the beginning, Sesame Street was like no other children’s program. Human characters, often children themselves, freely interacted with the Muppets, all members of that one big happy neighborhood the world now knows as Sesame Street.
The stamp art features photographs of Muppets Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Rosita, The Count, Oscar the Grouch, Abby Cadabby, Herry Monster, Julia, Guy Smiley, Snuffleupagus, Elmo, Telly, Grover and Zoe. Art Director Derry Noyes designed the stamps.
Images of nine of the characters in a colorful Muppet totem pole appear on the right side of the pane underneath the iconic Sesame Street sign. The back of the pane displays the Sesame Street 50th anniversary artwork.
Created by Jim and Jane Henson in 1955, “Muppet” is a combination of “marionette” and “puppet.” Those who operate them, whether by stick, by hand or both, are “Muppeteers.” Formed of many materials but typically flexible fabric over polyfoam, some common Muppet design characteristics include wide mouths and large, protruding eyes, which allow them to be animated extensively, playing a wide range of roles.
Before anyone complains that their favorite Muppet characters are missing, collectors are advised to review the Jim Henson and the Muppets commemorative pane of 11 37¢ stamps (Scott 3944) released in 2005, featuring many characters made famous on The Muppet Show which ran from 1976 to 1981. Its stamps include Kermit the Frog (3944a), Fozzie Bear (b), Sam the Eagle (c), Miss Piggy (d), Statler and Waldorf (e), The Swedish Chef (f), Animal (g), Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker (h), Rowlf the Dog (i), The Great Gonzo and Camilla the Chicken (j) and puppet-master Jim Henson himself (k).
The first day of issue event for the Sesame Street Forever stamps was held immediately preceding one festival stop on the Sesame Street Road Trip, a celebration of the show’s golden anniversary that will be held in 10 cities across the United States. News of the release is being shared on social media with the hashtag #Sesame50.
The pane was released on Saturday, June 22, at 9:30 a.m. EDT at Lafayette Park, 1592 Antietam Avenue, Detroit, MI 48207.
The Sesame Street stamps are Forever stamps, which will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.
Customers have 120 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their post office or at usps.com/shop. They must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope bearing sufficient postage and addressed to:
FDOI — Sesame Street Stamps
Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the USPS will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for up to 50 postmarks, but there is a 5¢ charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by October 22, 2019.
Issued June 22 to mark the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street, a commemorative Forever stamp pane of 16 features colorful characters who have delighted and educated generations of children in the United States and around the world since 1969.