The new US postage stamps honoring western heroes of the silver screen go on sale Saturday, and there will be ceremonies and celebrations in several places around the country.
The stamps honor the movie cowboy heroes William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.
All four of the honorees had an enthusiastic following outside the US as well as at home.
Hart and Mix were before my time. But Roy Rogers and Gene Autry were childhood favorites of mine, and I still love their movies, which I now watch on DVD -- and I've got Gene's CDs on my IPod. Autry of course went on to become a fabulously successful businessman. In 2004, I had a visiting scholar fellowship to the Autry National Center/Institute for the Study of the American West, a wonderful institution in LA that Autry was instrumental in founding.
One of the ceremonies celebrating the stamps will take place at the Autry -- see the program by clicking HERE.
This is the first time Gene Autry has been featured on a postage stamp, and the Museum of the American West plans to recognize this important milestone with a lobby exhibition that will remain up through Founder’s Day in October. The cameo will include artifacts relating to all four cowboys, focusing on different aspects of their illustrious careers. Gene Autry was a success in entertainment and business, and he always made time for his fans. He toured across North America, giving children of all ages the chance to see their favorite cowboy in person. Items on display will include a child mannequin with a Gene Autry Official Ranch Outfit and a Gene Autry Monark bicycle.Other ceremonies will take place at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Norman, Oklahoma and at the William S. Hart Park and Museum in Newhall, California. Maybe elsewhere, too!