The United States Postal Service celebrated the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus with the unveiling of its limited-edition Vintage Circus Posters Forever Stamps Monday, May 5, at the Ringling Museum.
The ceremony was held in front of the Ca’D Zan and included clowns, circus cars and a First Day of Issue sale. The pane of 16 self-adhesive stamps features reproductions of eight original 19th and 20th century circus posters used to promote the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Outside the museum’s entrance, four PETA protestors displayed their own version of the stamps that read “The Cruelest Show on Earth” and used pictures donated by veteran Ringling handlers of mistreated elephants.
“We’re here to educate the public with the truth,” says PETA spokesperson Bryan Wilson. “The circus has a tremendous history of abusing animals.”
At the ceremony, U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors member Ellen Williams and Executive Director of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Steven High helped unveil the stamps by putting together a jumbo puzzle of the pane.
“We hope people will proudly display these new stamps on their cards, letters and packages,” says High. “And, just like the circus does, we hope they [the stamps] will bring joy, wonder and amazement into the lives of everyone who received them.”
For more information on the stamps, go to USPS.com/shop.
To contact Harriet Sokmensuer, please email [email protected]