Over the 176 years since that decision was made, American stamps have come to include more and more kinds of people. Indeed, stamps provide a visual history of American thinking about gender and race in a widely disseminated and easily recognizable tiny form.
A tradition codified
That tradition continued for both currency and stamps until 1866, when it became
Why did depicting only the dead on U.S. currencies became a national priority in the year after the end of the Civil War? The answer emerged from : Had living persons been allowed to appear on U.S. coins, stamps and banknotes, it would have been possible to depict U.S. citizens who would go on to become traitors to the nation.
This law has held fast, even as stamps have quickly evolved.