Nation/World

Postal Service unveils ’09 stamps

WASHINGTON – Lucy and Ethel lose their struggle with a chocolate assembly line. Joe Friday demands “just the facts” with a penetrating gaze. A secret word brings Groucho a visit from a duck.

Folks who grew up as television came of age will delight in a 20-stamp set included in the Postal Service’s plans for 2009 recalling early memories of the medium.

Besides commemorating black-and-white TV, the service’s 2009 postage stamp program ranges from commemorating President Abraham Lincoln to the Thanksgiving Day parade, civil rights pioneers, actor Gary Cooper, poet Edgar Allan Poe, Supreme Court justices, and Alaska and Hawaii statehood.

Most of the commemorative stamps are priced at 42 cents, the current first-class rate. However, a rate increase is scheduled in May and the size will depend on the consumer price index.

The Early TV Memories stamp set is scheduled for release Aug. 11 in Los Angeles.

One recalls the quiz show “You Bet Your Life,” on which the unflappable Groucho Marx awarded prizes to contestants who answered questions. If they said a secret word, a toy duck dropped down with a cash reward.

In a memorable scene from “I Love Lucy,” Lucille Ball and sidekick Ethel Mertz work at an assembly line that speeds up, and they can’t wrap the candy quickly enough, causing panic.

In the stamp commemorating the cop show “Dragnet,” star Jack Webb as detective Joe Friday gives his “just the facts, ma’am,” stare, while on another stamp sweetheart singer Dinah Shore throws the audience a kiss.

Other shows featured are “Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Ed Sullivan Show,” “George Burns & Gracie Allen Show,” “Hopalong Cassidy,” “The Honeymooners,” “Howdy Doody,” “Kukla, Fran and Ollie,” “Lassie,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Perry Mason,” “Phil Silvers Show,” “Red Skelton,” “Texaco Star Theater,” “Tonight Show” and “Twilight Zone.”

September brings a series honoring the contributions of Supreme Court associate justices Joseph Story, Louis D. Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter and William J. Brennan Jr.

A dozen pioneers of the civil rights movement will be honored with stamps scheduled for release Feb. 21 in New York.



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