Imagine a foreigner on a U.S. postal stamp. It happens, but it’s very, very rare.
John Lennon, the late Beatles icon, appears on a top-secret list of megastars approved for display on upcoming stamps. If a Lennon design makes it to market as planned, the Brit would be one of few to break the longstanding rule that only Americans be depicted on stamps.
“It’s general policy that U.S. stamps feature Americans or American-related subjects, but other subjects can be considered if the subject had a truly significant impact on American history or culture,” Mark Saunders, a spokesman with the U.S. Postal Service, told the Daily News.
Winston Churchill, whose mother was born in Brooklyn, was on a 5-cent stamp in 1965. Mother Teresa was issued a stamp in 2010.
New Yorkers gave Lennon, who moved to the city in 1971, their stamp of approval.
“John Lennon was a great New Yorker,” said Craig Kalpakjian, 52, an artist from Greenwich Village. “He got into a lot of trouble because of his opposition to the Vietnam War just like a lot of great Americans.”
Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980 near the entrance of the Dakota, his building at W. 72nd St. and Central Park West. He is one of several A-listers who will be honored with stamps, part of a push by the cash-strapped postal service to make money.
The list, first reported by the Washington Post, includes Michael Jackson. The King of Pop’s stamp, while approved, doesn’t have a release date.
The Rev. Al Sharpton stumped for a Jackson stamp after the singer's fatal overdose in 2009 and said Friday he's thrilled by the news.
“I'm very, very happy for this development. It's something I've wanted to see since his death," Sharpton told the Daily News. “I think American history would be incomplete without a major chapter on Michael Jackson, which in and of itself makes him worthy of a U.S. postal stamp.”
Stamps for gay activist Harvey Milk, music icons Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin, and basketball great Wilt Chamberlain are expected to be released later this year. Stamps for Apple founder Steve Jobs, late-night television king Johnny Carson, Godfather of Soul James Brown and a new Elvis Presley stamp are slated for release next year.
The release dates for President Bill Clinton, cartoon character Dora the Explorer and President Obama have yet to be determined.
I didn't think I'd have to explain this, but for those of you who are confused about why I used a picture a George read his sweatshirt.