This first day cover issued on September 11, 1968, and postmarked in Walt Disney’s boyhood home of Marceline, Missouri, honors the contributions of one of the world’s most influential entertainers.
Born in Chicago in 1901, Disney moved to Marceline with his family at the age of four, and would later recall that many of his best memories came from the time he spent there. After becoming a bonafide star whose name was known around the world, Disney would return to the small town for various publicity events and even began purchasing land there shortly before his death in 1966. In fact, Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A., is based on Walt’s remembrances of Marceline’s own downtown area. After his passing, the community lobbied the United States Postal Service for the issuance of a commemorative stamp bearing the image of their favorite hometown son.
Nearly a million first-day covers were canceled in Marceline, upon the stamp’s release, which came nearly two years after Disney’s death. It was designed by artists Paul Wenzel and Bob Moore, and along with Walt’s portrait, features a line of Small-World-inspired children emerging from Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. A variety of themed envelopes were created for the occasion. This one, from Artmaster, features Disney’s likeness, along with an Oscar statue and olive branches encircling the following text:
UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT EXECUTIVE
PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM
THIRTY-ONE ACADEMY AWARDS
This memento, bearing the mark of Walt’s boyhood home, represents a fitting tribute to the humble beginnings and meteoric rise of the man who forever changed the face of family entertainment.