1998 USPS : Celebrate the Century Collection

1998 USPS : Celebrate the Century Collection



1998 USPS : Celebrate the Century - "Superman Arrives 1938" Stamp


The Celebrate the Century Collection is a series of postage stamps issued from 1998–2000 by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The 150-stamp series showcases important events of the 20th century in the United States. The first decade was issued on February 3, 1998, and the final decade on May 2, 2000. The subjects were selected by the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC), appointed by the postmaster general. The stamps were printed by Ashton Potter.

"Superman Arrives 1938" is featured on a 32-cent stamp, first issued in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 10, 1998. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland. Each stamp measures 1.875 inches (3.02 cm). The image was originally published on the cover of Superman #2 (Fall 1939), illustrated by Joe Shuster and Paul Cassidy.

1998 USPS Celebrate the Century : Superman Arrives 1938

The obverse reads, "Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman first appeared in 1938. The Man of Steel was the world's first comic book super hero. His sensational powers and dynamic deeds changed forever the content and style of the comic book."

The Superman stamp is included on the collector sheet for the 1930s: Depression, Dust Bowl, and a New Deal (Scott #3185). The 1930s series was designed by Howard Paine, with original illustrations by Paul Calle. The 15-stamp sheet depicts a dust storm in Cimarron County, Oklahoma. The photograph was taken by Arthur Rothstein in April 1936.

The four-pane Superman block includes President Franklin D. Roosevelt, an intaglio engraving of the Empire State Building, and a Sunbeam Mixmaster.

1998 USPS : Celebrate the Century Collection: 1930s (Scott 3185)"By 1933 the average wage was 60 percent less than in 1929 and unemployment had skyrocketed to 25 percent. Dust storms forced many farmers to give up their land.  "Americans escaped harsh realities by playing Monopoly, reading adventures of 'Buck Rogers' and 'Flash Gordon,' and listening to Hoagey Carmichael's 'Stardust.' Popular films included King Kong and It Happened One Night. For the first time, African-American athletes became national idols; Joe Louis in boxing and Jesse Owens in track and field.  "Prohibition was repealed in 1933. President Franklin Roosevelt fought the Great Depression with his New Deal programs. The 'Star-Spangled Banner' was chosen as the national anthem. The Empire State Building rose above the Manhattan skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge spanned the San Francisco Bay. Back on the ground, the parking meter made its first appearance in 1935.  "As the decade closed, many Americans were anxious about the growing war in Europe. New words -- all-star, oops, pizza, and racism -- were entering the American vocabulary."


USPS and DC Comics released a Commemorative Edition reprint of Action Comics #1 on September 10, 1998. The reprint includes a First Day Cover cancel from Cleveland, Ohio. From 1998–2000, DC Comics produced the Celebrate the Century Super Heroes Stamp Album collection, a series of ten comics books featuring original stories for each decade.

Post office lobby displays included a six-foot cardboard cutout of Superman. The Superman stamp image is featured on various collectibles including magnets, keychains, and a Keepsake Ornament from Hallmark.

1998 USPS : Celebrate the Century - "Superman Arrives 1938" Stamp


In July 2006, USPS released the DC Comic Super Heroes collection, featuring commemorative stamps and postcards of Superman and Supergirl.


USPS Celebrate the Century Collection
1930s: Depression, Dust Bowl, and a New Deal
3185a President Franklin D. Roosevelt
3185b Empire State Building
3185c LIFE, First Issue 1936
3185d First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
3185e FDR's New Deal
3185f Superman Arrives 1938
3185g Household Conveniences
3185h Walt Disney's Snow White Debuts
3185i Gone with the Wind, 1936 Bestseller
3185j Jesse Owens, Six World Records
3185k Streamline Design
3185l Golden Gate Bridge
3185m America Survives the Depression
3185n Bobby Jones Wins Grand Slam 1930
3185o The Monopoly Game


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