US Stamps

What would FDR think of social media? Enlighten us in June contest

May 3, 2021, 12 AM
The cartoon caption contest stamp for June is the 1998 32¢ Celebrate the Century stamp showing President Franklin D. Roosevelt at a radio microphone presenting one of his fireside chats. What do you think he might be thinking or saying about philately, th

U.S. Stamp Notes — By John M. Hotchner

Radio was the social media of Franklin Roosevelt’s time, and he understood its power. Eight days after taking office, he went directly to the American people in a way no prior U.S. president had done with the first of his series of fireside chats.

Revolutionary for its time, the practice has echoes today in Barack Obama’s use of several social media platforms during his campaigns for the presidency and after he was elected, and Donald Trump’s use of Twitter.

One can argue the merits of social media, but as President Roosevelt understood, it cut out the middleman (the press) between himself and the electorate. No longer was the public dependent upon the press for the president’s thoughts on issues of the day.

Roosevelt could go directly to the citizenry, and he relished the opportunity.

A 32¢ stamp picturing President Roosevelt at the microphone engaged in a chat will be the cartoon caption contest stamp for June.

The stamp (Scott 3185a) is part of the Celebrate the Century series’ pane of 15 that pays tribute to the 1930s. The pane was issued Sept. 10, 1988.

Put yourself in the moment as Roosevelt a serious lifelong stamp collector in addition to his presidential duties, addresses American citizens. Tell me what you think he might be saying about philately, the issues of his time, or (as one of its pioneers) the development of social media.

There will be two prizes given: one for the best philatelic line, and one for the best nonphilatelic line.

The important thing is to use your sense of humor, because entries with a humorous twist have the best chance of winning a prize.

Put your entry (or entries) on a postcard if possible and send it to me, John Hotchner, Cartoon Contest, Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125, or by email. If you send an email, it is essential that your include your postal mailing address.

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For each winner, the prize will be the book Linn’s Stamp Identifier, published by Linn’s (a retail value of $12.99), or a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension).

To be considered for the prizes, entries must reach me no later than June 22.

Why not enter now while you’re thinking about it?