U.S. Forever stamp celebrating Nebraska sesquicentennial debuts today
This morning at 9:30 a.m. CST, a first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony will take place for the Nebraska Statehood Forever stamp celebrating the state’s sesquicentennial.
At the event, native Nebraskan photographer Michael Forsberg will discuss the perseverance involved in capturing this photo of Sandhill Cranes migrating along the Platte River. This event—being held at the Nebraska State Capitol on 1445 K St., in Lincoln, Nebraska—is free and open to the public. The stamp goes on sale at Nebraska Post Offices today and will be available online at usps.com for delivery soon after.
Known for its agricultural bounty, the Cornhusker State became the 37th state of the Union on March 1, 1867. The United States Postal Service (USPS) traditionally issues commemorative postage stamps at intervals of 50 years from the date of a state’s first entry into the Union.
Forsberg tucked himself among prairie grasses on the riverbank between the cities of Grand Island and Kearney, Nebraska, to capture the stamp image. His photo depicts Sandhill Cranes flying low as they scout for sandbars for nighttime roosts that offer safety from riverbank predators. Each year, more than 500,000 Sandhill Cranes make a stop along the Platte River valley in March and early April for a mid-migratory rest. The timeless spectacle is unique to Nebraska.
Forsberg took the photograph sometime around the year 2000.
“Nebraska” is derived from the Otoe and Omaha peoples’ phrase meaning “flat water” and “flat river.” The description originally referred to the wide, shallow river that flows eastward into the Missouri River, which serves as Nebraska’s eastern boundary. On early maps, French explorers labeled the river “Platte,” also meaning “flat.”