The Passport to Your National Parks program offers at least one passport stamp at each of the national parks in the U.S. National Park System. One of the beauties of the program is its consistency. At the same time, however, its hard to deny that there isn’t something a little boring about the Passport stamps themselves – each of them are the same round circle with text around the upper border, text around the lower border, and a date across the middle.
Thus, to liven up the pages of your Parks Passport Book, the creators of the Passpor Program, Eastern National, annually offer for sale a set of ten commemorative stamps to live up the pages of your Parks Passport. In the early days of the Passport Program, back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, these comemorative stamps were sold in the same style and format as postage stamps – with special envelope mounts for mounting them in your Passport. Nowadays, the commemorative stamps are sold in an easy-to-use sticker format.
Each commemorative stamp features a photo of a national park, as well as a short explanatory blurb about the park. The photos are selected each year from submissions made by National Park Service employees and volunteers. Each year there is one commemorative stamp for each of the nine geographical regions in the Passport Program, as well a tenth, large-format, national stamp each year – typically for a national park celebrating a special anniversary that year.
Anyhow, the news this week is that Eastern National has announced the nine new commemorative stamps for 2015:
- North Atlantic Region – Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
- Mid-Atlantic Region – Monocacy National Battlefield
- National Capital Region – Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site
- Southeast Region – Ocmulgee National Monument
- Midwest Region – Missouri National Recreational River
- Pacific Northwest & Alaska Region – Nez Perce National Historical Park
- Western Region – Walnut Canyon National Monument
- Rocky Mountain Region – Fossil Butte National Monument
- Southwest Region – Lake Meredith National Monument
- National Stamp – Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park
The selection of Appomattox Courthouse as the 2015 National Commemorative Stamp is no surprise. On April 9, 1865 Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the CIvil War 150 years ago in 2015.
Likwise, the selection of Ford’s Theatre NHS also makes perfect sense, as it was the site, 150 years ago on April 14, 1865 of President Lincoln’s Assasination. Somewhat interestingly, this makes Ford’s Theatre a relatively rare park to now have two commemorative annual regional stickers, as Ford’s Theatre was previously the featured sticker for the National Capital Region in 1993. A duplication was somewhat inevitable, however, as 2015 is the 30the year that commemorative stamps/stickers have been issued, there are only 24 national parks in the National Capital Region, and the last national park in the National Capital Region to get its own sticker, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac, finally got its own sticker last year.
The only other park to have been featured twice on regional stickers under the same name is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which was the National Capital Region sticker on the first commemorative stamp/sticker set way back in 1986, and then was featured again in 1994 – marking the addition of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial statue the previous year in 1983. Four other national parks in Washington, DC have had different individual memorials within those parks featured on the annual commemorative stamps in different years. Meanwhile, its worth noting that Fort Clatsop National Memorial, which marks the place where the explorers Lewis & Clark finally reached the Pacific Ocean, was featured on the 1992 sticker for the Pacific Northwest & Alaska Region. After the name of this national park was changed by Congress to Lewis & Clark National Historical Park, it was featured again on a commemorative regional sticker in 2010.
Interestingly, the Southwest, North Atlantic, Midwest, and Rocky Mountain Region all have between 39 and 43 national parks in them. Thus, all four of those regions will likely reach the point of having each national park within those regions on at least one commemorative regional sticker within the next 10 years or so.
In the meantime, enjoy filling in your Passport Books with the latest set of commemorative stickers.Share this Parkasaurus post: