Publication 153- People and Places of the Pacific: A Celebration on Stamps
May 2002


People and Places of the Pacific: A Celebration on Stamps

Sending a powerful message requires a powerful tool. The United States Postal Service is proud to use the power of the postage stamp to commemorate the people, places, history, and culture of the Pacific Islands and the Pacific Rim.

The Pacific is where the dawn meets the evening star, where the worlds largest ocean laps against the shores of thousands of islands, and where yesterdays stories are still reflected today like sunlight on blue waves.

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies the 50th of the United States, Hawaii. Farther west are the people of archipelagoes and islands with whom the United States has strong and long-established bonds Micronesia, Palau, American Samoa, the Marshall Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. And still farther west in fact, to the Far East are the nations of Asia, all of which have shared friendship, ideas, and their unique cultures with the United States over the years.

We are pleased to have celebrated our relationships with these countries and shared the stories of their people and history.

For more than two centuries, we have been Americas messenger, binding the nation together and extending communications across the globe to other nations and peoples. The United States Postal Service: We are continuing to transform ourselves to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

"Hawaiian Missionary" Stamps
To be issued 2002
Reproductions of the first Hawaiian stamps issued 1851-1853. These stamps acquired their nickname because most were used on correspondence from American missionaries in Hawaii to their families back home. Because of their rarity, they are considered among the worlds foremost philatelic items.

United States Trust Territory
After World War II, the United Nations assigned several Pacific island groups to a Trust Territory administered by the USA. Starting in the 1970s, the groups worked to become independent, self-governing districts, yet all of them still have strong associations with the USA.

Federated States of Micronesia
Issued 1990
Commemorates the Compact of Free Association with the USA that became effective November 1986. The four major island groups (totaling 607 islands) are Truk (Chuuk), "Yap, Kosrae, and Pohnpei (Ponape).

Republic of the Marshall Islands
Issued 1990
Commemorates the Compact of Free Association with the USA that became effective October 1986. The republic has more than 1,000 islands, including Bikini and Kwajalein.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Issued 1993
Salutes the group of 14 islands, including Saipan and Tinian. In 1978, the islands became a commonwealth of the USA.

Republic of Palau
Issued 1995
Celebrates the first anniversary of Palaus independence, which became effective October 1994.

Issued 1994
The first joint issue between the USA and China, intended to recognize friendship between the two countries. The stamps feature the Black-Necked Crane from China and the Whooping Crane from the USA, rare birds that are the subject of conservation efforts in their homelands.

American Samoa
Issued 2000
Commemorates the centennial of the union between American Samoa and the USA. American Samoa is a territory of several islands, including Tutuila and Aunuu, whose capital is Pago Pago.

Greetings From Hawaii
Issued 2002
Celebrates the 50th state as part of the Greetings From America release. The stamp features a likeness of Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, and the state flower, the hibiscus.

Duke Kahanamoku
To be issued 2002
Three-time Olympic gold medal swimming champion, champion surfer, Hollywood actor, and Hawaiian folk hero.

Hawaii Territory
Issued 1937
Celebrates Hawaii's status as a U.S. territory, which it became in 1900. The stamp features a statue of King Kamehameha, who starting in the 1790s united the main Hawaiian Islands and promoted trade with Great Britain and other nations.

Diamond Head, Hawaii
Issued 1952
Depicts Diamond Head, one of the most notable and beautiful natural landmarks in Hawaii. This extinct volcano is on the southeast side of the island of Oahu.

Hawaii Statehood
Issued 1959
Celebrates Hawaii becoming the 50th state of the Union.

City of Refuge, Hawaii
Issued 1972
Honors the area on the island of Hawaii that was founded in the 1500's as a sacred religious sanctuary. This area is now called Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park.

Hawaii State Flag
Issued 1976
Celebrates the Hawaiian flag as part of the American Bicentennial series. Commissioned in 1816 by King Kamehameha, the flags eight stripes represent Hawaii's eight islands, and the Union Jack honors Hawaii's early friendship with Great Britain.

Captain Cooks Ship's Resolution and Discovery
Issued 1978
Commemorates the 200th anniversary of British explorer Captain James Cook's arrival in Hawaii with his two ships Resolution and Discovery.

Iolani Palace, Hawaii
Issued 1979
Honors the centennial anniversary of the construction of the only royal palace on U.S. soil. First used by King Kalakaua, it served as Hawaii's capitol building until 1969, when it became a National Historic Landmark.

Hawaii State Bird and Flower
Issued 1982
Presents Hawaiis state bird and flower as part of the Birds and Flowers of the 50 States. Hawaii's state bird is the Nene (pronounced nay-nay), also called the Hawaiian Goose, and its state flower is the hibiscus.

Hawaii Statehood Anniversary
Issued 1984
Celebrates the 25th anniversary of Hawaii entering the Union as the 50th state.

China and Korea World War II
Issued 1942 and 1944
Shows support for China and Korea in World War II. Both countries had been invaded and occupied by Axis powers but were still fighting for freedom alongside the Allies.

Opening of Japan
Issued 1953
Commemorates the centennial anniversary of the opening of Japan to the West by U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry.

U.S.-Japan Treaty
Issued 1960
Honors the 100th anniversary of the treaty between the USA and Japan.

Sun Yat-sen and the Republic of China
Issued 1961
Celebrates the 50th anniversary of the formation of the first Republic of China and the election of Sun Yat-sen as its first president.

Hokusai, Japanese Artist
Issued 1974
Reproduces a scene from a work by the famous Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). This image of a Japanese woman engaged in writing honors the 100th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union and the theme of uniting the worlds people through letters.

Lunar New Year Series
The Postal Services award-winning Lunar New Year series celebrates the 12-year cycle of the Chinese lunar calendar and the animal associated with each year. Stamps depicting ten animals have been released so far, with stamps of the remaining two animals to be released in the coming years.

Year of the Rooster
Issued 1992

Year of the Dog
Issued 1994

Year of the Boar
Issued 1994

Year of the Rat
Issued 1996

Year of the Ox
Issued 1997

Year of the Tiger
Issued 1998

Year of the Hare
Issued 1999

Year of the Dragon
Issued 2000

Year of the Snake
Issued 2001

Year of the Horse
Issued 2002

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