On this day in 1978, celebrated freedom fighter and abolitionist Harriet Tubman received a history-making honor from the United States Postal Service. The USPS issued a stamp with Tubman’s likeness, making her the first Black woman to receive the honor.
The stamp was part of the USPS’ Black Heritage stamp line, which is ongoing to this day. Tubman was the first honoree, with a stamp worth 13 cents in 1978 that was re-issued again in 1995 at 32 cents.
As notable as the achievement was, Tubman was not the first Black person to have a stamp featuring them. Booker T. Washington, the famed educator and author of the “Atlanta Compromise,” was the first Black person to be given a stamp back in 1940.