The Laurent Clerc Stamp Project 1.0
Between 1999 and 2005 a group of Deaf individuals set out to secure Laurent Clerc a United States Commemorative Postal Stamp. They believed that this stamp was long overdue considering the contribution that Laurent Clerc made to American society. By the time this unsuccessful campaign was abandoned they had sent over 10,000 petition signatures and personal letters of support. On this page we will to record and commemorate their significant efforts. All the material used in this page is the property of the American School for the Deaf and the Cogswell Heritage House. Used with their permission.
1983 Some history of the idea of a Laurent Clerc Stamp Project. Came around the time of the Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet postage stamp of June 10, 1983. Ken Rothschild and Al Hlibok had worked together for over 15 years on deaf stamps. They had discussed the stamp but postponed working on it due to time constraints. Al Hlibok talked at the San Antonio NAD conference in 1998 and decided they would pursue it. He approached people that he felt were "Clerc Experts" like Ken Rothschild and Sue Pederson to discuss the possibilities. They checked with Nancy Block and Libby Pollard of NAD, along with Harvey Goodstein of Deaf Way at Gallaudet University and Yerker Andersson, a stamp experty. Their hope was to have stamp by 2002.
1995.06 Ken Rothschild discussing the process of getting a USPS stamp and beginning the process. He had been involved with the "I LOVE YOU" Deaf stamp and had good working relationships with the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) that is under the Postmaster General staff. Ken is letting time know that a detailed and organized proposal needed to be written and it was a three (3) wait from acceptance to publishing the stamp.
1998.12.06 Email indicates that Superintendant of ASD is willing to participate on the project and be a committe member.
1998 Fall Edition of the American Era, Magazine of the American School for the Deaf (ASD). Article on the efforts underway to get a stamp. The "nine (9) prestigious members" included ASD Executive Director Winfield McChord, Jr., Albert J. Hlibok (Chair), Dr. Yeker Andersson, Gliber C. Eastman, Jack R. Gannon, Dr. Harvey Goodstein, Dr. Harlan Lane, Susan Perdersen and Kenneth Rothschild.
1998.10 Susan Pederson, Gil Eastman, Ken Rothschild, Yerker Anderson, early founders of the Laurent Clerc Stamp Project (LCSP) were working on Harlan Lane's writer up supporting the project. Gil Eastman helped the group to review the Clerc papers at Gallaudet University. Deaf Way expressed it support of the project. Questioning the NAD involvement.
1998.12 NAD Clerc Headstone Restoration and Recognition Committee Meeting Notes: Noted that in July 1998 at the San Antonio NAD Conference, Al Hlibok of NY approached NAD officers about the LCSP.
1998.12.15 Email from Jim Pederson describing how an independent committee headed by Al Hlibok is seeking to get an approval from US Postmaster about a the postage cachet honoring Laurent Clerc. They were hoping it would be approved and introduced in the summer of 2002. That Harlan Lane wrote up a position paper outlining Laurent Clerc's contributions. More research is being done at Yale University Archives. Harvey Goodstein, Chairperson of 2002 Deaf Way gave an endorsement.
1998.12.15 Dan Brubaker, NAD Board Liaision to the LCSP Committee is becoming more engaged in the project. He is asking for a Committee Report. Requesting names of board committees, plan of action on your mandates, goals for the commitee and your tentative timetable for completing mandates. It seems that the committee for the stamp is a committee within the NAD structure.
1998.12.16 Contact by the LCSP with Yale Archives about purchasing the microfilm reel of Laurent Clerc Manuscripts and to donate to the ASD museum, Gallaudet University and NAD Archives. It is available for $40.
1999.02.13 Reviewing drafts of documents. Discussing the involvement of Mason Cogswell in stamp project. Concerns that it would water down the proposal. Discussing how to reach Deaf and hearing people. Discussed engagement with African-American Deaf people. Beginning to organize database.
1999.02.14 Working on their 3rd draft of proposal. Feedback to focus only on Laurent Clerc. Decision to use "deaf" instead of "Deaf". Also the question was raised on whether he ever became an American citizen as it would lend more credibility to the proposal.
1999.04.06 Committee members are given brochures and encourage to write the CSAC themselves and solicit others to do so.
1999.04.29 Robert Bouvier, Mayor of West Hartford wrote a letter of support to the CSAC.
1999.05.03 Wilson H. Faude, Executive Director of the Old State House in Hartford CT wrote a letter of support to the CSAC.
1999.05.10 Evan S. Dobelle, Trinity College wrote a letter of support to the CSAC.
1999.05.18 The first report on the project indicated that Deaf Nation, Deaf Life and Silent Life agreed to publish a story. Al Hlibok visited teh CSAC office in Washington DC and met with Sonja Quinn, to whom they gave their material and were awaiting a confirmation letter. Al Hlibok had a meeting with GU President I King Jordan and Dr. Harvey Goodstein who agreed to participate. Spoke with alunmi there and they agreed to advocate with their membership. Got support from the Bison Club. Went to the ASL Festival in Union CC and go 200 signatures. The Lexington School Board agreed to participate during Deaf Awareness Week. A resolution by Gertie Galloway was proposed and passed at CEASD. Decided to incorporate LCSP as a non-profit for fundraising. Ken Rothschild was elected treasurer.
1999.06.29 Decided that the orginal commitee would become the Executive Commitee and new members, Cliff Rowley, Nancy Rowley, Anna Terrazzino, Allan Fraenkel (Graphic DesignerU) and George Kononenko (Webmaster) would form a new committee. National Association of the Deaf magazine agreed to include an article in their next issue.
1999.09.02 Email indicates that the Conference of Education Administrator of School and Programs for the Deaf, Inc. created a resolution and endorsed the LCSP.
2000.02.23 Email provides a copy of the rejection letter from the United States Postal Service. The feeling of the committee that this is normal to reject the first application. They indicate that it took years for the USPS to approve a Paul Robeson stamp but only after 50,00 signatures. The committee had already mailed about 9000 petitions or letters of support. Given many lectures like the San Diego DeafExpo where they got 900 signatures alone. The will do an lecture in Paris. They felt that there was insfficient support from the deaf/hearing dignitaies but were now sending letters out to them for support. They were mailing 200 copies of the LCSP folders to FOLDA for distribution by Alice Hagemeyer.
2000.07 Meetings with the organization in France "Mouvements de Sourds France about the (LCSP) and attending the Deaf History International Conference in France in 2002 and involvement with their stamp petition. They were thinking of asking the French Postal Office if they would be interested in a Laurent Clerc stamp also. The LCSP was thinking of Deaf Way II opening celebration. Also considering a presentation at Deaf History International Conference 5 in France in 2004. Al Hlibok, LCSP founder, would be presenting the project to Deaf French.