200 Years Later - Stamp Celebrates Victory

The U.S. Postal Service launched this new stamp on Saturday, August 18 coinciding with the 200th anniversary of its great victory.

Click here for a definitive history of the U.S.S. Constitution by the History Channel.

Rick Uluski, Richard Hoffman, Julia Baldini, Art Gerckens and Andrew Cota spoke at the unveiling of the new stamp.


Click here for a very good U.S. Navy video on the history of the U.S.S. Constitution

Click here for "The Constitution Hornpipe"
The Constitution vs. The Guerriere remembered in song
The Constitution vs. The Guerriere remembered in pictures
Click here for a unique perspective on the Constitution
1950's newsreel of the Constitution

On Saturday, August 18, The United States Postal Service officially issued the USS Constitution Forever Stamp, the first in a series of stamps designed to commemorate the War of 1812. The official ceremony took place at the Boston Navy Yard which is the home of the USS Constitution. However, the City of Derby - home of the Commodore Isaac Hull, commander of "Old Ironsides" and member of Derby's Hall of Fame in its most famous moment - also celebrated the new stamp - just as it did for a previous stamp issued in 1947.

The Derby Public Library was the site for a First Day of Sale Ceremony with the library collaborating with the Derby Historical Society and the Connecticut Cover Club for the program. Both the Historical Society and the Cover Club  prepared envelopes with the new stamp. This is not the first time that the Derby Historical Society has done this. Back in 1947, the postal service issued another USS Constitution Stamp for the 150th anniversary of the ship's launch. Notice that the cost was only 3 cents! The new stamp will cost 45 cents, but since it is a Forever stamp, it can be used at any time in the future for a first class envelope even if the price of stamps goes up.

The program was arranged by Julia Baldini, Director of the Derby Historical Society who served as mistress of ceremonies and also made a presentation on the life of Isaac Hull. Other speakers included Rick Uluski, Vice President, Area Operations for the Northeast United States Postal Service. Rick is a Derby native. Also on the program were Richard Hoffman, President of the Connecticut Cover Club; Art Gerckens, Industry Chair of the Fairfield County PCC and a member of the Board of Aldermen and former police chief Andrew Cota, representing Mayor Staffieri.

Click on each image for a larger representation.


The First Day of Issue was done on board the Constitution on October 21, 1947 in Boston. The Derby Historical Society followed suit with its own envelope cover celebrating Commodore Hull and his Derby Birthplace as you can see: 

Though it was launched in 1797, August 19, 1812 is the day that the The U.S.S. Constitution under the command of Derby's Isaac Hull became the most famous frigate in U.S. naval history with the stunning defeat of the HMS Guerriere. The war was barely two months old (President Madison signed the Declaration of War on June 18.) at the time of the battle. Britain had the largest navy in the world at the time, but the U.S. was slowly building its own navy after Congress had authorized  the Naval act of 1794, and the U.S.S. Constitution was one of six frigates authorized under the bill and the third actually built.

Though the ship had seen service in the war with the Barbary Pirates, it earned its permanent place in history during the battle with the demolition of the Guerriere under Hull.  The event made Hull an instant hero and gave US hopes in the war a major boost.

This is just the first in a series of stamps to be issued by the postal service in recognition of the War.

Story posted on August 12, 2012

Back to Derby Home page                                                                                   winner_logo.jpg (15821 bytes)