The 50th anniversary of U.S. manned spaceflight is being commemorated by the Postal Service with two new stamps in March. One features astronaut Alan Shepard of Derry, New Hampshire and the other pictures the Mercury orbit of the spacecraft Messenger. In a wry twist of irony, later this year Buzz Lightyear from the Disney movie “Toy Story” will also be featured on a stamp as part of a series honoring Pixar movies.
The stamp is inscribed “First American in Space”, but it doesn’t mention he also walked on the moon. Shepard’s actual first flight took place on 5 May 1961. These are first space themed stamps to be issued by the USPS in over a decade. Although John Glenn, Neil Armstrong and other astronauts, scientists and spacecraft have been honored, this is the first time Alan Shepard appears on a US postage stamp.
For more information:
My other blog post about Alan Shepard of Derry http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2009/11/astronaut-alan-shepard-of-derry-new.html including a genealogy of the Shepard family.
Rear Admiral Alan Bartlett Shepard’s official biography at the NASA website http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/shepard-alan.html
|Alan Shepard cenotaph|
Although he was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea, there is a cenotaph for Alan Shepard and his wife at Forest Hill Cemetery, (on Shepard Ave, Section 2, Lot 178) in East Derry, New Hampshire, right down the street from his boyhood home. His epitaph reads “Love is Eternal” RADM ALAN BARTLETT SHEPARD, Jr. US NAVY “AMERICA’S FIRST MAN IN SPACE”. More photos are available at findagrave.com http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=26066418
Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo