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Women’s Rowing stamps dedicated in Philly

Ann O’Keefe, a Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club member, addresses the audience during the Women’s Rowing stamp dedication ceremony.

The Postal Service’s latest Forever stamps, Women’s Rowing, were dedicated May 13 at the Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club on the bank of the Schuylkill River.

“Women’s competitive rowing requires strength, endurance and determination, and we hope these new stamps inspire you to push yourself harder to reach your goals and succeed at anything — keep rowing,” Cara M. Greene, the Postal Service’s controller and vice president, told the crowd.

Before the passage of Title IX, the law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in any educational institution receiving federal funds.

“Title IX opened the opportunity for women and girls to grow and grow,” said Sophie Socha, president of the Philadelphia club.

Once the law was passed, women lost no time making their mark on the water.

In 1975, the famed Red Rose Crew took silver in the World Rowing Championships. The next year, female rowers went on to win bronze in the Summer Olympics, their first time competing.

In 1984, the next Summer Olympics in which the United States competed, the women’s team won gold — a feat they replicated in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Joining Green and Socha for the dedication were Amanda Kraus, CEO of the United States Rowing Association; Carol Bower, Olympic gold medalist and Bryn Mawr College head rowing coach; Elizabeth Milroy, professor emerita of art history, Wesleyan University; and Ashley Keough, who sang the national anthem.

Ethel Kessler, the stamps’ art director, also attended.

Nancy Stahl illustrated and designed the stamps.

The Women’s Rowing stamps are available in panes of 20 at Post Offices and at