January 11, 2015

1407 UNITED STATES (Washington) - Washington map

Washington is that State located in the upper left corner on the map of the United States, bordered by Oregon on the south, Idaho on the east, the Canadian province of British Columbia on the north, and the Pacific Ocean on the west, not too large nor too small, not too populated nor too uninhabited. That if we talk about average, because if we consider that half of the population is concentrated in Seattle metropolitan area (over 3.6 million inhabitants), the things are changing. Admitted to the Union in 1889 as the 42nd state, Washington remained for long time a forest county, the demand for timber being the one which dictated its economic increase or decrease until WWII, when the place of the forest industry was taken by Boeing Company. It's famous the Skid Road (the road for the timber transport with Seattle as a starting point), became within one generation Skid Row, an proverbial area in America in '90s through his poverty and promiscuity.

The Cascade Range run north-south, bisecting the state. From the Cascades westward, the State has a mostly marine west coast climate, with mild temperatures and wet winters. The range contains several volcanoes, among which only  Mount St. Helens is actively erupting. The region is also home of the Olympic Mountains, far west on the Olympic Peninsula, which supports dense forests of conifers and areas of temperate rainforest. In contrast, Eastern Washington has a relatively dry climate with large areas of semiarid steppe and a few truly arid deserts. Farther east, the climate becomes less arid. The Okanogan Highlands and the rugged Kettle River Range and Selkirk Mountains cover much of the northeastern quadrant of the state. The Palouse southeast region of Washington was grassland that has been mostly converted into farmland, and extends to the Blue Mountains.

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the region was inhabited by tribes of Native Americans, but these were devastated by the smallpox epidemic of the 1770s. The first recorded European who land on the coast was the Spanish Don Bruno de Heceta in 1775, who claimed all the coastal lands up to Prince William Sound for Spain. The Nootka Convention of 1790 ended Spanish claims and opened the Northwest Coast to traders from other nations. David Thompson erected on 1811 a pole and a notice claiming the country for Great Britain. In 1819, Spain ceded their rights north of the 42nd Parallel to the United States, and Britain did the same with the land south of the 49th parallel in 1846. The growing populace of Oregon Territory north of the Columbia River formally requested a new territory, which was granted by the U.S. government in 1853. It was admitted to the Union in 1889.

State capital is Olympia, but the largest city is Seattle, which it was developed due to its perfect location. The bay towards wich the city is open is an ideal natural harbor and the Strait of Juan de Fuca ensured on the one hand protection against pirates, and on the other access to the ocean and the ability to trade with throughout the Pacific coast and even with Asia. After WWII Boeing company established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing, and in the ‘80s the city was developed as a technology center through the stream of new software, biotechnology, and internet companies (Microsoft, Amazon.com, Nintendo of America).

It says that because of its geographical isolation, Washington State is a haven for those who want to remain Americans, but also to be away from the rigid governmental mechanisms, maneuvered, bizarre coincidence, from the other Washington, located on the Atlantic coast. The black community of Seattle, developed after WWII due to industrial development, left a high influence in west coast rock music and R&B and soul in the 1960s, including Seattle native Jimi Hendrix, described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music". The city was also the home of Grunge, the most important musical, aesthetic and even social movement after the punk era, that emerged during the mid-1980s.

About the stamps

The first stamp is part of the Legends of Hollywood series, started in 1995. It honors Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003), one of America’s most fascinating and enduring film stars, who was a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years, and received four Academy Awards for Best Actress. Designed by Derry Noyes, and issued on May 12, 2010, the stamp is a publicity still from the film Woman of the Year (MGM, 1942). The photographer was Clarence S. Bull. The selvage image shows Hepburn as she appeared in the play West Side Waltz. The stamps of the series are the following:

1995 - Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) (0.32 USD)
1996 - James Dean (1931-1955) (0.32 USD)
1997 - Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) (0.32 USD)
1998 - Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) (0.32 USD) - It's on the postcard 1702
1999 - James Cagney (1899-1986) (0.33 USD)
2000 - Edward G. Robinson (1893-1973) (0.33 USD)
2001 - Lucille Ball (1911-1989) (0.34 USD)
2002 - Cary Grant (1904-1986) (0.37 USD)
2003 - Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) (0.37 USD) - It's on the postcard 1430
2004 - John Wayne (1907-1979) (0.37 USD)
2005 - Henry Fonda (1905-1982) (0.37 USD)
2006 - Judy Garland (1922-1969) (0.39 USD)
2007 - James Stewart (1908-1997) (0.41 USD) - It's on the postcard 1726
2008 - Bette Davis (1908-1989)  (0.42 USD) - It's on the postcard 1611
2009 - Gary Cooper (1901-1961) (0.44 USD)
2010 - Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003)  (0.44 USD) - It's on the postcard 1407
2011 - Gregory Peck (1916-2003) (forever) - It's on the postcard 0014
2014 - Charlton Heston (1923-2008) (forever) - It's on the postcard 1162
2015 - Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982) (forever) - It's on the postcard 2134
2016 - Shirley Temple (1928-2014) (forever) - It's on the postcard 2920

The second stamp is the Christmas stamp for 2012, about which I wrote here.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps II-4, run by Violet Sky from See It On A Postcard. The theme of this week is Famous people, portraits. Click here to visit Violet’s blog and all the other participants.

Washington (state) - Wikipedia

Sender Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 02.01.2015


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  2. I didn't realize there were so many legends included in this series! I have Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn. Thank you for your participation.

  3. I have received this very stamp, and I love it. Thanks for so much information about it.

  4. I have a whole sheet of those of Gregory Peck but was not aware of any of the others.

  5. I love map cards and you provide a lot of information to go with it. Iconic photograph of Katharine Hepburn.