20c Eagle Man stamp with Earhart overprint


Smithsonian's National Postal Museum

Smithsonian's National Postal Museum
Washington, DC, United States

Mexico honored American avitrix Amelia Earhart by overprinting one of its airmail stamps in violet with "Amelia Earhart Vuelo de Buena Voluntad Mexico 1935" (Amelia Earhart Flight of Good Will Mexico 1935) to commemorate her 1935 Mexico City visit.

Earhart's husband, George Putnam, reported in the June 1935 issue of Scott's Monthly Journal that he "personally was present and saw the 780 stamps printed. The cuts used were never out of my sight. After the printing, these cuts were destroyed in my presence, all as attested by affidavits of witnessing officials. In short, I tried to do everything possible to insure the absolute integrity of the issue."

Four hundred eighty of the 780 stamps were sent with the additional overprint "Muestra" (Specimen) to the Universal Postal Union for distribution to postal administrations worldwide. This action defined the Earhart overprint as a legitimate stamp despite the outcries of some philatelists who claimed that it was not created for postal purposes. About one hundred of the remaining three hundred stamps were used on the mail carried by Earhart to New York City (some in blocks of four). Ten unused stamps were distributed to diplomats, and the remaining examples were sold to local collectors and the public. This stamp remains a rare and desirable item both unused and on flown mail.

Scott Catalogue Mexico: C74

Museum ID: 0.279483.1.17.1


  • Title: 20c Eagle Man stamp with Earhart overprint
  • Date Created: 1935-04-16
  • Location: Mexico
  • Medium: paper; ink

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