Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the Postal Service and Philately

Topical Reference Page
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Duke Kahanamoku stamp, August 24, 2002

The National Postal Museum celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander history by providing online resources about the role of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the postal service and philately.

Two stamps featuring Ruth Asawa wire sculptures
Ruth Asawa was a groundbreaking artist who is primarily recognized for her beautiful and intricate wire sculptures.

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the 12-year cycle of the Chinese lunar calendar with postage stamp series.

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March 6, 2014 - January 4, 2015

This exhibition looked at the relationship of China and the U.S. through the study of stamps and mail.

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sheet of 12 stamps featuring the Lunar New Year dragon
Delve into the symbolism of dragons in Chinese culture with the National Postal Museum and the National Museum of Asian Art. Educators share a dragon origin story and highlight dragons in Asian art objects and on postage stamps.
stamp featuring a sculpture resembling a mother holding a child
Discover how eastern and western cultures intersected in the life and art of Japanese American designer Isamu Noguchi.
Ruth Asawa and a sheet of stamps showing her artwork
Learn about the fascinating life of Ruth Asawa, a Japanese American artist whose sculptures are featured on a set of postage stamps issued by the USPS in August 2020.

This virtual exhibition features every U.S. postage stamp issued to date (2023) that honors Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Americans or their history and culture. It also highlights some stamps that depict the natural environments of the places from which they came.

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The Transcontinental Railroad and the Asian-American Story

2019 marks 150 years since the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The story of postal history in this country is very much one of communication and the spread of both mail and information, with the railroad being integral to that story.

Sun Yat-sen on U.S. Postage Stamps

The U.S. Post Office Department twice depicted Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), founding father and first president of the Republic of China, on postage stamps. Politics motivated the American government to issue the stamps. Each design was controversial, but for different reasons. The Post Office Department, Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, Department of State, embassies, presidents, artists, and citizens had strong opinions and, only sometimes, influence.