On May 26, 1994, the Postal Service recognized World Cup Soccer with three action-packed stamps issued in New York City and a souvenir sheet of three stamps issued in East Rutherford, New Jersey. East Rutherford was one of the nine sites at which the games were played that summer. Also on May 26, post offices in the remaining eight sites — Foxboro, Massachusetts; Orlando, Florida; Palo Alto, California; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Pontiac, Michigan; Pasadena, California; and Dallas, Texas — sold the stamps and souvenir sheet and offered pictorial cancellations.
The 29-cent first-class domestic stamp features a player kicking the ball, and the 40-cent international rate stamp depicts a player using a trapping maneuver to bring the ball under control. The player on the 50-cent international air mail stamp demonstrates the art of heading the ball. The 50-cent denomination matched a half-ounce international airmail letter rate, making mailing letters back home much easier for the many international athletes, coaches, and officials in the United States for the World Cup events.
The souvenir sheet includes the three stamps set on a background image of a United States map. Identified on the map are the nine US cities where the games were played. Listed across the top and bottom of the sheet are the twenty-four countries that compete in the games.
In 1994, the World Cup Soccer competition came to the United States for the first time. The tournament brought together twenty-four national teams for fifty-two games over a one-month period to determine a world champion. The games began on June 17 in Chicago's Soldier Field and concluded July 17 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.
Designed by Michael Dudash of Moretown, Vermont, the stamps were printed in the photogravure process by J.W. Fergusson & Sons for Stamp Venturers, Inc.
Reference: Postal Bulletin (May 26, 1994)
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Museum ID: 1996.2081.902.1-2