John F. Kennedy said in both his inaugural address and at the time the stamp was issued, "Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, and eradicate disease." Kennedy's invitation and challenge reflected the significance the United States and other nations, eighty of which issued similar stamps, attached to the objective of "A World United Against Malaria."
Its name derived from the Italian for "bad air," malaria has cursed human history for more than 4,000 years. Civilizations had struggled to control it long before 1632, when quinine (cinchona bark) was found to be the first successful treatment.
Malaria has been virtually eradicated in most of North America and Europe thanks to the use of insecticides and environmental management, the very things which have hampered similar efforts in Africa, Asia, Latin and South America.
The 4-cent commemorative Malaria Eradication Stamp was issued March 30, 1962, in Washington, DC. The design depicts the Great Seal of the US and an adaptation of the World Health Organization (WHO) emblem. Charles R. Chickering designed the blue and ocher stamp for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. All lettering is in sans-serif type, L-type perforations.
The stamp measures 0.84 x 1.44 inches in dimension, arranged horizontally, printed on the Giori presses, issued in panes of fifty with an initial printing of 100 million.
- World Health Organization. A Global Strategy for Malaria Control. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1993.
- Malaria. (2008). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved June 30, 2008, from Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
- Postal Bulletin (February 15, 1962).