Katharine Hepburn once said, “I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex.” This independent and courageous thinking illustrates Hepburn’s role as one of the premiere feminists who valued equality. It also shows why she was chosen to be honored by the United States Postal Service.
Well, there’s nothing inferior about this year’s women on stamps. The 2010 U.S. Stamp Program unveiled stamps honoring three important women: Mother Theresa, Kate Smith and Katharine Hepburn. For those who do not know these amazing women, each left their mark on our culture, history and feminism.
Mother Theresa (1910- 1997) was a nun dedicated to aiding the poor in India where she took vows of “chastity, obedience, and poverty,” along with “a fourth vow of wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor,” says the USPS website. “‘In order to understand and help those who have nothing,’ Mother Teresa told the young women, ‘we must live like them.’”
As an honorary American Citizen, her unprecedented generosity in her teachings and service to the destitute in India and with AIDS patients in the U.S. earned her the respect of people from all backgrounds. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, “in the name of the poor, the hungry, the sick and the lonely.” In addition to her many awards from the U.S. government she was an advocate who earned funds to sustain her work and the people she helped. Her stamp will be available to purchase on August 26, 2010 on what would have been her 100th birthday.
Kate Smith (1907-1986) was a singer and songwriter. Her signature rendition of the song “God Bless America,” has been called America’s unofficial national anthem and was a good luck charm for the NHL team, the Philadelphia Flyers. Known as the “Songbird of the South,” Smith recorded close to 600 songs, selling millions of records. Her stamp went on sale May 1, 2010.
As for Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003), whose stamp was revealed this month on May 12, 2010, “Katharine Hepburn will be remembered for generations, for both her unparalleled acting ability and being a role model for women who chose to live life on their own terms,” Postmaster General John Potter said in a statement.
Hepburn won four Academy Awards during her acting career that included 40 motion pictures. She played strong roles in films, proving that women could be sophisticated leaders on the big screen and in life.
Hepburn is the sixteenth professional actor to be honored in the U.S. Postal Service‘s Legends of Hollywood stamp series. Her niece Katharine Houghton, said, Katharine “provided hope and inspiration and courage for a whole new generation of women.”
I completely agree. Bravo to these amazing women and the U.S. Postal Service for recognizing their courageous work.
To see more of this year’s stamp series, check out the press release.