Lockwood’s photograph is of Flat Lake near Morgan City. In the image, a setting sun casts the shadows of bald cypress trees hung with Spanish moss across the dark water. Flat Lake is in the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest contiguous river swamp in the United States. Its bayous are home to alligators, crawfish, snakes, turtles, nutria, owls and eagles.
“The historical significance of the Louisiana Statehood stamp depicts 200 years of diverse cultures, which support freedom, democracy and unity,” said Trent Nelson, Senior Manager, Postal Office Operations, Alexandria, in previewing the stamp image.
Joining Nelson was Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.
“C.C. Lockwood always provides a unique view of Louisiana’s fascinating landscape and his photograph is a fitting tribute to Louisiana’s 200 years as the Sportsman’s Paradise,” said Dardenne.
Also of local interest will be another Forever stamp commemorating Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of Tarzan. Morgan City will celebrate the centennial of “Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle,” the first movie depicting Burroughs’ creation, in 2012.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp shows Tarzan, Burroughs’ famous literary creation, clinging to a tree by a vine with his left hand and wielding a weapon with his right. Burroughs appears in profile in the background. Hulbert Burroughs, the author’s son, took the 1934 photograph that served as a basis for the stamp. The depiction of Tarzan is an interpretation of the character by artist Sterling Hundley of Chesterfield, Va., under the direction of Art Director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, Va.
Customers may preview the Louisiana Statehood Forever Stamp as well as many of next year’s other stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
The flags of seven sovereign nations have flown over modern-day Louisiana since 1682, creating the lively history and dynamic mingling of cultures that characterize the state today. Louisiana became the 18th state in the Union April 30, 1812.
When the first European explorers reached present-day Louisiana during the 16th century, Native Americans were farming the land and hunting its wildlife. European settlement began after René-Robert Cavalier de La Salle sailed down the Mississippi River in 1682 and claimed the area for France, naming it Louisiana after King Louis XIV. Settlers founded New Orleans in 1718 and French ships carrying enslaved Africans began to arrive soon afterward. The Africans brought valuable skills to the struggling colony, including experience growing rice and indigo, plants that flourished in Louisiana’s semi-tropical climate and became vital crops along the Mississippi.
A group of new settlers boosted the colony in the 1760s: French-speaking families from present-day Nova Scotia, then called Acadia. After being expelled from their homes by the British, many Acadians settled in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns.
As its military power in the New World waned, France ceded all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River and New Orleans to its ally, Spain, via a secret treaty in 1762. The following year, Britain took control of Louisiana east of the Mississippi. Spain returned Louisiana to France in 1800. In 1803, the land traded hands yet again. President Thomas Jefferson bought much of the present-day state as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1804, Congress made most of present-day Louisiana the Territory of Orleans. Statehood followed eight years later.
Much of Louisiana’s history is rooted in its unique geography. The Mississippi River flows through the state and into the Gulf of Mexico, filling portions of Louisiana with fertile alluvial soil. The climate is subtropical, with New Orleans lying on about the same latitude as Cairo, Egypt. As a result, the state includes rich agricultural land, pine-filled woods, swampy bottomland forests and marshes. In fact, about 40 percent of the marshland in the U.S. is found in Louisiana. Nearly 400 miles of its coastline borders the Gulf of Mexico.
The Louisiana Statehood stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce letter price.
Burroughs moved to the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles in 1919, purchasing a ranch and naming it Tarzana Ranch after his jungle hero. This land was originally part of the San Fernando Mission, established in 1797. Burroughs subdivided a portion of his land in 1923 for homes, known as Tarzana Tracts. In 1927 or ’28, residents voted to name their community Tarzana in honor of Burroughs and his famous character.
Tarzana grew slowly during the 1930s and early 1940s. After World War II, a postwar boom brought many new subdivisions and homes. Tarzana today is a district in the City of Los Angeles and home to 24,000 people.
Born in Chicago on Sept. 1, 1875, Burroughs served in the U.S. Cavalry, dredged for gold, worked as a door-to-door salesman, a railroad policeman and many other varied jobs before he published his first story “Under the Moon of Mars” in 1912. “Tarzan of the Apes” soon followed that same year, published in a pulp magazine. The Tarzan story was published in a book edition in 1914 and proved so popular that Burroughs continued the series with sequels published all the way into the 1940s.
During World War II, although in his late sixties, Burroughs served as a war correspondent in Hawaii. After the war, Burroughs moved back to Los Angeles, living in Encino. He died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950, having written almost 70 novels.