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15-cent Alliance For Progress (1963)

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15-cent Alliance For Progress Emblem single

The Alliance For Progress, or "Alianza" as it was commonly called, was one of President John F. Kennedy's favorite programs. Its purpose was to encourage economic growth and to raise the generally low standards of living throughout Latin America. Many of the other countries of the Western Hemisphere, including the United States, also issued stamps on this theme. The Canal Zone's 7-cent airmail was issued on August 17, 1963, the second anniversary of the founding of the "Alianza". The design is centered on a full color rendition of the program's insignia or emblem adopted for use by the United States; in Latin America the same motif was used with the words in Spanish, or in the case of Brazil in Portuguese and Haiti in French.

A relatively modest 405,000 stamps were received by the Canal Zone Postal Service from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and as a result all were sold.

First day covers are common, and they are known with about twenty different cachets by a number of cachet artists both on the the Isthmus of Panama and the United States. The 15-cent stamp covered the airmail rate to Latin America and it was heavily used for that purpose. Examples on covers to Latin America as well as in combination with other stamps in a "make-up" function to both the United States and elsewhere in the world are not often seen.

Robert J. Karrer