I am working on the 1960’s and 1970’s in my collection and seeing a few stamps that just aren’t featured prominently anywhere. Why? Well, some of them are a little embarrassing. They are culturally outdated or commemorate something that, while important, just isn’t polite conversation.
I’d like to start this series with a doozy. “Retarded” isn’t a word many people use today. It’s considered insensitive, but there was a time when it was a serious term used by doctors as well as everyday people to describe the mentally challenged.
#1549 was issued in 1974 as a 10¢ definitive. It bears the slogan “Retarded Children Can Be Helped,” which leaves us wondering a little if the artist or designer knew anything other than the basic fact that “retarded” children should not be ignored and hidden. That was probably progressive enough for 1974, but imagine hearing that from a co-worker or friend these days!