US Stamps

By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Look for United States 1938 50¢ Howard Taft stamp

February 26, 2016 11:44 AM

  • The 50¢ William Howard Taft stamp (Scott 831) from the 1938 Presidential issue honors the only man to serve as both president of the United States and a justice on the Supreme Court.

By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

The only man in the history of the United States to serve both as president and as a justice on the Supreme Court was William Howard Taft (1857-1930).

Taft was the 27th president of the United States (1909-1913) and the 10th chief justice of the Supreme Court (1921-1930). He had also previously served as solicitor general of the United States, governor-general of the Philippines, and secretary of war.

Taft’s funeral in Washington, D.C., was attended by President Hoover, after which he became the first president of the United States to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

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The 50¢ stamp in the popular 1938 Presidential series commemorates President Taft (Scott 831). The 2016 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the 50¢ Taft stamp at $5.50 in mint never-hinged condition and at $25 as a mint plate-number block of four.

You can probably find a mint single in the $3.50-to-$4 range, and a plate-number block in the $15-to-$20 range. But for a challenge, look for a single-use franking on an airmail cover to Asia. The Scott U.S. Specialized catalog values such a cover at $35, and it would be a very good buy at that price.