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The list: 5 Smithsonian stamps

Stamps that have honored the Smithsonian Institution include, clockwise from top left, a 1980 American Architecture stamp, a 1968 stamp honoring a National Portrait Gallery painting of Chief Joseph, a 1946 stamp, a 1993 National Postal Museum stamp and a 1996 stamp.

The Celebrating African American History and Culture stamp isn’t the first to honor a Smithsonian Institution museum. Here’s a look at five others.

1. Smithsonian Institution. This 3-cent stamp was issued in 1946 to mark the 100th anniversary of the world’s largest museum and research complex. The stamp pictured the sandstone façade of the Smithsonian Castle, the Washington, DC-based organization’s flagship facility.

2. Smithsonian Institution Building. Designed by James Renwick Jr., the Smithsonian’s Norman-style castle was one of four structures featured in the 15-cent 1980 American Architecture series.

3. American Indian. To mark the National Portrait Gallery’s opening, a 6-cent stamp featuring one of the gallery’s works — an oil painting of Chief Joseph — was issued in 1968.

4. National Postal Museum stamps. USPS celebrated the museum’s opening in 1993 with four 29-cent stamps depicting postal history, including the first Postmaster General, Benjamin Franklin.

5. Smithsonian Institution. In 1996, USPS commemorated the 150th anniversary of the organization — which had grown to include 16 museums and galleries, the National Zoo and research facilities — with another Smithsonian Castle stamp.

The National Postal Museum’s philately site has more information about these stamps and many others. Got ideas for future editions of “The list”? Email them to

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