Presentation of the Commemorative Postal Card
May 1980

“Presentation of the Commemorative Postal Card,” Ensign, May 1980, 94

Commemorative Postal Card Ceremonies Saturday, April 5, 1980

Presentation of the Commemorative Postal Card

Easter greetings from about 655,000 postal service people all over the country.

This is a great occasion for me. We have many friends—many, many lasting memories of the fine people of this state and its beauties. Also, my son and his wife today are here from Logan, and they have with them the world’s greatest granddaughter. She was born in Ogden.

But more than all of that, we have a beautiful day today to dedicate a beautiful stamp to a very imposing building in one of the memorable weekends of your history. I am happy and proud to be here.

It is always an honor to participate in the dedication of a postal stamp design or postal stationery design. But knowing how much this building means to all of you and how much pleasure this stamp is going to bring to people all over the world makes this one a very special occasion. Just imagine the thrill your youngsters on missions are going to have when they get one of these cards from you through the mail.

We in the postal service take great pride in our role in the nation’s communications network. We are a part of it—and we hope an integral part. And we value the opportunity to provide the world with attractive and meaningful stamp designs. We like to think of these as miniature works of art—traveling art galleries, if you will. They tell the world what we think is beautiful and what we think is important. But unlike the art gallery that one visits and looks at as a spectator, we take the stamps and the postal cards home with us and share them with people all over the world. Thus they become living and actual, moving tributes to the thing or to the people or to the building that they commemorate. The postmaster general makes the final decision on all stamp designs. A group of people from outside the postal service help him. It’s called the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee. They evaluate literally hundreds of suggestions every year for stamp designs, and the postmaster general selects the finest ones. This committee, while planning future programs, decided that they were going to issue not one or two but a series of stamps to focus on historic structures, structures cherished by the communities in which they stood—all over the country—and contributing to the architectural history and heritage of all Americans.

I stress that not only was the committee interested in architecture, but the buildings selected had to stand for something. They had to have a meaning, and it had to be representative of our nation’s development, and our nation’s diversities. Also, the committee wanted the finest quality of artwork for this series of stamps, so for each design, where possible, they selected a local artist from the community in which the building stood to design the stamp.

Most stamps are taken from photographs or paintings that were painted earlier for some other purpose. But this series of stamps was considered to be so important that the committee wanted a fresh approach. So they asked each artist selected, each one commissioned, to do an original painting of what the stamp would look like, and ordered a fresh approach, a fresh perspective from an artist living in the community who knew the structure, who knew its importance, and also knew that it was going to be a stamp design.

The three previous cards, as has been mentioned, were of the Galveston Courthouse, the Cincinnati Music Hall, and the Iolani Palace in Honolulu. When I look at this fourth one and see the temple, I am truly impressed. I am impressed not only by the temple, but by the absolutely magnificent setting in which it sits and which the artist has caught so well with the lake and the broad valley and the mountains.

I think the artist Mr. Arnold Friberg, of your city, has more than met our very high standards for stamp design, and it’s with a great deal of pride that we add the temple postal card to our gallery of traveling arts. Now it is my pleasure to present albums containing the card to several of our distinguished guests. The first album by tradition always goes to the president of the United States, and Mr. Carter’s will be delivered to the White House. [President Spencer W. Kimball, President N. Eldon Tanner, President Marion G. Romney, President Ezra Taft Benson, Elder Mark E. Petersen, and Elder LeGrand Richards received albums.]

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the pleasure and the privilege of participating in these ceremonies on one of your memorable weekends.