Year of the Horse Postage Stamp Unveiled
Washington, DC - In New York City on February 11 of this year, the United States Postal Service (USPS) unveiled the "Year of the Horse" postage stamp honoring the Lunar New Year, which began on February 12. Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) Executive Director Christine Chen and members of the local New York and New Jersey area OCA chapters attended the ceremony.
The first annual Chinese New Year postage stamp was unveiled in 1992 after a long campaign by OCA to the USPS. "We credit OCA-Georgia Chapter member Jean Chen for starting the whole effort and getting OCA National to encourage the USPS to celebrate the Lunar New Year with Chinese and Asian Pacific Americans," said OCA National President George M. Ong. "We also want to recognize the supreme efforts of past National President Claudine Cheng who took up the project during her term as National President and made the stamp a reality," he continued.
The first Lunar New Year stamp honored the Year of the Rooster and there have been Lunar New Year stamps every year since thenincluding Dog, Boar, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, and last year's Snake. The Horse is the tenth in the series of twelve.
"Back in the 1980s," said OCA Executive Director Christine Chen, "Jean Chen saw an early photo of the celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 and noticed that there were no Chinese in the picture. She inspired OCA to work toward the creation of a Chinese New Year stamp. OCA wishes to thank the United States Postal Service for helping to promote the cultural heritage of Chinese Americans and to remind mainstream America that this great country is a composite of many ethnic roots and backgrounds."
"It is enlightening to see that the celebration of Lunar New Year is fast becoming an enriching experience of American culture," said Leo Lee, President of the OCA New York chapter. "Held for the first time on the east coast and in New York City, the USPS's First Day Issue 'Year of the Horse' stamp is a bold statement of solidarity and support to a city that suffered tremendously from the September 11 attack. The new Chinese zodiac stamp will also add color and life to our lunar new year celebrations and to the community's 'Welcome Back Chinatown' efforts.'"To purchase a first day of issue stamp, customers may purchase stamps at a local post office or address an envelope (the addressee does not matter) and place the envelope in a larger envelope addressed to: Lunar New Year - Horse Commemorative Stamp, Postmaster, 421 8th Avenue, Room 2029B, New York, NY 10199-9991. The envelope will be returned through the mail; there is no additional charge for the postmark. Requests for first day of issue cancellation must be postmarked by March 13, 2002.
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