Commemorative stamp ceremonies planned at Fort Clatsop National Memorial and Cape Disappointment State ParkMeriwether Lewis and William Clark, leaders of the 1804-1806 expedition, will begin a new journey May 14 when the U.S. Postal Service issues three commemorative postage stamps.

And the Astoria-Warrenton area and Ilwaco, Wash., will take center stage when three commemorative stamps are unveiled a day before they go on sale around the nation.

Cape Disappointment State Park and Fort Clatsop National Memorial are among the 11 sites along the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition that will host events May 14 for the official First Day of Issue ceremonies. The events are free and open to the public.

The Cape Disappointment event will begin at 9 a.m., followed by the Fort Clatsop ceremony at noon. Details were announced today by Ilwaco Postmaster Karen Harrell and Astoria Postmaster Kevin Romeyn.

Ceremonies Set• Idaho: Orofino, 11 a.m., Pink House Recreation Site.

• Illinois: Hartford, 10 a.m., Festival Grounds.

• Iowa: Sioux City, 11 a.m., Southern Hills Mall.

• Kansas: Atchison, 10 a.m., Atchison Riverfront Park.

• Missouri: St. Charles, 11 a.m., Frontier Park Trail, Lewis and Clark Monument.

• Montana: Great Falls, 11 a.m., Lewis and Clark National Historic Interpretive Center.

• Nebraska: Omaha, 10 a.m., Lewis and Clark Landing.

• North Dakota: Washburn, 1:30 p.m., Fort Mandan.

• Oregon: Astoria, noon, Fort Clatsop National Memorial.

• South Dakota: Pierre, 11 a.m., South Dakota Capitol Building Rotunda.

• Washington: Ilwaco, 9 a.m., Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Cape Disappointment State Park.Complimentary bus transportation between the two locations, and from designated parking in Astoria to Fort Clatsop will be available May 14; details on the transit plans will be announced later.

"We are thrilled to be among the 11 locations along the Lewis and Clark trail where these beautiful stamps will be unveiled and sold for the first time on May 14," said Harrell.

"These historic stamp dedication events are a once-in-a-lifetime chance," added Romeyn, "for the residents of our area - as well as the many visitors we know will join us on May 14 - to witness a First Day of Issue ceremony for not just one U.S. postage stamp, but three."

Official First Day of Issue postmarks - sought after by stamp collectors and history buffs - will be available at both ceremonies. In addition, a pictorial postmark celebrating Cape Disappointment and Fort Clatsop's part in Lewis and Clark's journey has been created for each event by retired U.S. Mint sculptor/engraver Thomas Rogers of Long Beach, Wash.

The stamps commemorating the Bicentennial of the Corps of Discovery will be available nationwide on May 15.

On the Net:U.S. Postal Service:

(http://www.usps.com) "The Lewis and Clark expedition was a daring effort to chart the new territory of the United States - the Louisiana Purchase," said Patrick R. Donahoe, chief operating officer and executive vice president of the U.S. Postal Service, who will dedicate the stamps in Hartford, Ill.

"And it is today one of America's greatest stories of adventure. The Postal Service takes great pride in sharing the often-epic, often-inspiring history of our great land, through postage stamps."

The U.S. Postal Service will issue three 37-cent self-adhesive stamps. One features an image of the two leaders of the expedition standing on a promontory surveying the countryside, available in a pane of 20 stamps. The two other stamps feature individual portraits of Lewis and Clark painted by Michael J. Deas in a style reminiscent of early 19th-century portraits of the two explorers.

Ten each of these stamp portraits are included in a 32-page prestige booklet entitled "Lewis and Clark: The Corps of Discovery, 1804-1806," available for $8.95. In addition to the stamps, the booklet contains text, historic illustrations and scenic photographs. Ron Fisher, a Lewis and Clark enthusiast who visited many of the expedition's sites and began writing about the Corps of Discovery in 1970, wrote the text.

To see all three of the Lewis & Clark stamps and other images from the 2004 Commemorative Stamp Program, visit the Postal Store at (www.usps.com/shop) and click on "release schedule" in the Collector's Corner.

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