WASHINGTON, April 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Postal Service celebrated Earth Day on Tuesday with the first sales of a stamp honoring government climate change research.
In another groundbreaking move this week, the Postal Service released the artwork Monday for a stamp honoring Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the United States. Milk, who was assassinated in 1978, is the first openly gay official to be honored with a stamp.
The Earth Day stamp shows a simulation of sea surface temperatures developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Mark Schaefer, assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management and NOAA deputy administrator, called it a "fabulous tribute" to the agency's researchers.
"These global models are key to understanding changes in our dynamic planet over both the short- and long-term, and they are major sources of the environmental intelligence NOAA provides each day," he said. "Armed with this kind of information, decision makers can help communities plan for and take action to become more resilient in the face of Earth's changing climate."
The Forever stamp is to be used for international mail and costs $1.15.
The Harvey Milk stamp is based on a head-and-shoulders shot of Milk standing in front of his San Francisco camera store with the colors of the gay pride flag in the background. Milk, who moved to the city from New York in 1972, was elected to the board of supervisors in 1977 and gunned down in city hall in late 1978 with Mayor George Moscone.
The Forever stamp's first day of issue is May 22, although stamps can be pre-ordered. The price is 49 cents.