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USPS dedicates stamp to Louis D. Brandeis

Published: September 25, 2009
Section: Front Page


Stamp: (Left to right) President Jehuda Reinharz, Alice Brandeis Popkin, Walter Brandeis Raushenbush and Frank Brandeis Gilbert unveil the Post Office’s newest stamp.<br /><i>PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot</i>

Stamp: (Left to right) President Jehuda Reinharz, Alice Brandeis Popkin, Walter Brandeis Raushenbush and Frank Brandeis Gilbert unveil the Post Office’s newest stamp.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

The Boston Post Master General unveiled the new Justice Louis D. Brandeis commemorative stamp to almost 200 people at a ceremony held yesterday afternoon in front of the statue of the university’s namesake.

Present at the ceremony were Justice Brandeis’ three grandchildren Alice Brandeis Popkin, Walter Brandeis Raushenbush and Frank Brandeis Gilbert.

Gilbert spoke at the ceremony of his fond memories of spending summers with “grandfather” in Chatham, Mass. on Cape Cod.

“Grandfather had a special glass porch where he reviewed all of his court documents in the summer,” Gilbert said, adding that Justice Brandeis received a plethora of documents in packages via the Postal Service. “His mail was different from others.”

Gilbert, who has himself been involved with the university since its founding in 1948, said he believed his grandfather would be proud of the university with his name today.

“It would have meant a great deal to him to see how the university allows students to grow, to see the high quality of faculty, and to see what active citizens those at Brandeis are,” he said. “Grandfather had a faith in the future that is carried on by the university named for him.”

Also at the ceremony was the Boston Postmaster James J. Holland, who spoke about how the Justice Brandeis stamp came to be.

“Each year the post office receives thousands of letters requesting stamps be made,” he said. “Only those with widespread interest become stamps.”

“A stamp is a unique reminder of the amazing contribution an individual made to society,” he added.

University President Jehuda Reinharz spoke about the legacy of Justice Brandeis and the “sobering responsibility” the university has to live up to its namesake.

“Anyone who doubts that a single man can have an impact on a single culture only needs to look at Brandeis to see that it is possible,” he said.

Usdan Postal worker William Bowen, also known as “the singing postman,” closed the ceremony with a performance of “I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter,” written by Frank Ahlert and Joe Young.

The Louis D. Brandeis stamp, which was sold at the commemoration, is part of a series of four commemorative stamps honoring United States Supreme Court Justices. The other stamps feature Felix Frankfurter, William J. Brennan Jr. and Joseph Story. The Brandeis stamp can only be bought in a set along with the stamps of the three other Justices.