US Stamps

Packed house at Constance Baker Motley stamp event at NYC recreation center

Feb 9, 2024, 12 PM
The Jan. 31 first-day ceremony for the U.S. Constance Baker Motley forever stamp was held at the recreation center recently renamed in her honor. Among the participants in the ceremony was stamp artist Charly Palmer. Photographs by Jay Bigalke.

By Jay Bigalke

More than 300 people packed into the gym area of the Constance Baker Motley Recreation Center, a center renamed in her honor in 2021, to attend the Jan. 31 first-day-of-issue ceremony for her stamp.

Linn’s Stamp News published an article on the Constance Baker Motley stamp in the Jan. 29 issue.

Anton G. Hajjar, a member of the United States Postal Service board of governors, served as the dedicating official for the stamp, and, shortly after he started his remarks, he invited everyone on stage for the unveiling.

The wide-angle photo nearby pictures the large crowd at the ceremony. Not in view were the USPS retail booth and cancellation area, which were on the opposite side of the stage.

The ceremony, which lasted just over an hour and 15 minutes, included many meaningful speeches. Musical performances were also a big part of the event.

“This extraordinary beautiful stamp acknowledges the life and work of an unsung trailblazer of American civil rights and jurisprudence,” Constance Royster, niece of Constance Baker Motley, said during her remarks. “It publicly thanks her for her lifetime of service to this country.”

Stamp artist Charly Palmer also spoke. This was his first stamp design for the Postal Service, and he was obviously excited about it, even wearing flowers similar to those he placed on the painting for the stamp design.

“She was a shero, a hero, and a superhero, because of her courage,” Palmer said.

Some of the participants stayed after the ceremony to sign autographs, and the Postal Service continued to sell stamps and postmark covers.

Overall, it was a memorable event honoring a remarkable woman.

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