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Ayn Rand

Daffy Duck

April Release

Canadian

Nato

Sonoran Desert

Ayn Rand
The 1999 addition to the Literary Arts stamp series honors Ayn Rand, the author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Born Alissa Rosenbaum in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ayn Rand came to the U.S. in 1926 at the age of 21, and later became a U.S. citizen. Rand believed that a productive society is the result of individual freedom and effort. Her philosophy influenced all of her books and made her a controversial but respected author. The stamp art was illustrated by Nicholas Gaetano, who also illustrated book jackets for several recent editions of Ayn Rand's books.

Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck finally gets the respect he deserves as an icon of American entertainment: his own U.S. postage stamp. But, ironically, the honor comes only after Sylvester & Tweety and his arch-rival Bugs Bunny have already put their own "stamp" on history with the issuance of the Sylvester & Tweety stamp this year and the Bugs Bunny stamp in 1997. Daffy Duck made his debut in the black-and-white cartoon Porky's Duck Hunt. In his second film, Daffy Duck and Egghead, he was given the name "Daffy." A crazy little quacker who entertains viewers with his child-like innocence, Daffy Duck has become, over the years, a bit more sophisticated and articulate as he tries to win fame and success at any cost. Daffy Duck joins other Looney Tunes characters in helping promote the educational hobby of stamp collecting through the Postal Service's youth stamp collecting program.

NATO
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, this stamp pays tribute to NATO's role as a peacekeeping force. Twelve countries participated in the original treaty. Four additional countries joined NATO between 1952 and 1982. In 1999, subject to ratification, three more nations will join, bringing the total number of participating countries to 19. Designed by Michael Cronan, the stamp symbolizes the strength of the organization, the fragility of peace and hope for the future. The first stamp honoring NATO was issued April 4, 1952.

Sonoran Desert
The Sonoran Desert pane of 10 stamp designs is the first in an educational series titled "Nature of America." Illustrated by John Dawson, the stamp art depicts 25 animals and plant species common to the Sonoran Desert. The scene was developed from the artist's imagination, but each element is based on photo references and on research provided by Professor David E. Brown, a specialist in the classification of biotic communities. Descriptive text, including the common and Latin names of each plant and animal, appears on the backing of each stamp.