Women Who Put Their Stamp on History
Celebrating Wisdom from Women
March celebrates Women’s History Month. What better time than now to take a look at the women who have appeared on U.S. postage stamps
Beginning in 1902 and for more than 100 years, there are now more than 200 U.S. postage stamps that commemorate both women and women’s issues. These women all share one thing in common. They have indeed left their stamp on history.
The women featured on U.S. postage stamps are activists, actors, athletes, artists, attorneys, authors, choreographers, comedians, dancers, designers, engineers, First Ladies, journalists, mothers, musicians, nurses, Olympians, painters, physicians, pilots, poets, publishers, Queens, scientists, senators, singers, wives, writers, and more.
From Abigail Adams to “Babe” Zaharias, these women are fascinating in and of themselves. What they have had to say is interesting. And so, over the years I decided to explore these women further and collect 365 favorite quotes from more than 100 women who have appeared on U.S. postage stamps.
Here are a few historical highlights:
- The world’s first adhesive postage stamp also known as Penny Black was issued more than 175 years ago in Britain in May 1840. It featured a woman — Queen Victoria who is also known as saying “The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.”
- In July 1847, the U.S. issued is first adhesive postage stamps featuring stamps of both Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. The first U.S. postage stamp featuring a woman appeared in January 1893 with Queen Isabella of Castile from Spain in honor of her patronage to making the trips of Christopher Columbus to the New World possible.
- The first U.S. postage stamp featuring an American woman appeared in December 1902 with the portrait of Martha Washington.
Here are some of my favorite inspirational quotes to celebrate the words of wisdom from these remarkable women:
“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.”
“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”
~Louisa May Alcott
“If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.”
“Forget conventionalisms; forget what the world thinks of you stepping out of your place; think your best thoughts, speak your best words, work your best works, looking to your own conscience for approval.”
~Susan B. Anthony
“Nobody, but nobody, is going to stop breathing on me.”
“In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by.”
“It is not easy to be a pioneer — but oh, it is fascinating! I would not trade one moment, even the worst moment, for all the riches in the world.”
“All things are possible until they are proved impossible — and even the impossible may only be so, as of now.”
~Pearl S. Buck
“I think that if you shake the tree, you ought to be around when the fruit falls to pick it up.”
“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.”
“This became a credo of mine…attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.”
“If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin Into his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”
“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.”
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
“As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.”
“Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what’s more than enough.”
“I am confirmed in my division of human energies. Ambitious people climb, but faithful people build.”
~Julia Ward Howe
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
“The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.”
~Juliette Gordon Low
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
“I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.”
“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”
“Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.”
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
“Common sense is seeing things as they are; and doing things as they ought to be.”
~Harriet Beecher Stowe
“Be faithful in small things because it is them that your strength lies.”
“It is the mind that makes the body.”
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
“Perseverance is my motto.”
~Madam CJ Walker
“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.”
“Study the rules so that you won’t beat yourself by not knowing something.”
~Babe Didrikson Zaharias
There are numerous biographies of the women who have appeared on U.S. postage stamps and other resources of particular interest on the subject of women on U.S. postage stamps. Here are a few that I would recommend:
- Women on United States Postage Stamps by Anita Price Davis and Louise Hunt
- The exhibit “Women in the Postal Service and Philately” from the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
- The Little Book of Quotes by Women edited by Kathleen Welton features 365 quotes from women who have appeared on U.S. postage stamps.