Advocate for elderly honored

Claude Pepper, a champion of rights for the elderly, will be honored on a new 33-cent stamp on Sept. 7, the eve of the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Pepper, a Democrat from Florida, served in both the U.S. Senate (1936-1951) and the House of Representatives (1963-1989) in a political career that spanned 60 years.

He was chairman of the House Select Committee on Aging and his main focus was on needs of older Americans, particularly Social Security and Medicare.

Born near Dudleyville, Ala., on Sept. 8, 1900, Pepper graduated from the University of Alabama in 1921 and Harvard Law School in 1924. Five days before his death on May 25, 1989, Pepper received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George Bush.

The new stamp features a photo of Pepper. His name appears vertically on the left and the word "Senator" is at the right margin. "USA 33" is part of the design.

First-day covers of the Pepper stamp are available from the Stamp Fulfillment Services of the Postal Service by phoning (800) STAMP-24.

Franklin and Washington

The first U.S. stamps issued by the U.S. Post Office Department (as it was then known) on July 1, 1847, were a pair depicting George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

The Franklin stamp was a 5-center featuring a portrait of Franklin by Joseph S. Duplessis. The Washington stamp was a 10-cent denomination showing a portrait of the first U.S. president by Gilbert Stuart.

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