The U.S. Postal Service is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation by issuing a limited edition stamp.
The stamp was unveiled at the National Archives, where the original Emancipation Proclamation is on display through 5 p.m. Tuesday, the final day of a three-day limited viewing. After the stamp was unveiled, singer, activist, and scholar Bernice Johnson Reagon performed a dramatic reading of the Proclamation.
The stamps are the first of three Civil Rights stamps that will be released by the Postal Service in 2013. The other two stamps will feature Rosa Parks and the 1963 March on Washington. In 2009, the organization previously released 12 stamps featuring civil rights pioneers.
“Stamps often tap into our culture and help us remember the events and people who have had an impact on American history,” said Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman in a statement. “The Emancipation Proclamation was a powerful symbol of President Lincoln’s determination to end the war, to end slavery, and to reconstruct the economy of the country without slave labor.”
The stamps will go on sale Wednesday at post offices nationwide.