Tuesday's Show: Delivering Hope

“Byrd Antartic Expedition II” designed by Franklin D. RooseveltThe new exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, Delivering Hope: FDR & Stamps of the Great Depression (on now through June 2010), highlights a time in U.S. history when our President saw stamps as more than a way to build revenue: FDR, ever the politician, used stamps to further his political agenda. Roosevelt was an avid stamp collector and he designed a number of stamps himself; in fact, the Postal Museum has on display his original sketches that later became the stamps people used to mail their bills and letters. This exhibit shows how Roosevelt used stamps to help sell his New Deal policies, and highlights the history of our most famous Postmaster General, FDR’s former campaign manager James Farley. It’s a back-story most of us don’t know much about, and while the history alone is interesting, the real highlight of the show is the beautiful Depression-era stamps. Listen today to curator Cheryl Ganz explain it all to Bob during their tour.

Stamps may not be particularly sexy anymore, but who can forget Audrey Hepburn and Carry Grant discovering that three small stamps amounted to an entire fortune in the movie Charade?