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Joe Hill on 1980 EUROPA Issue

Joe Hill on 1980 EUROPA Issue

Joe Hill was a poet and member of workers' movements including the One Big Union.

"Famous People" was the theme of EUROPA stamps for 1980. On June 4, Sweden issued a set of two stamps. The 1.30k value depicted Elise Ottesen-Jensen (1886-1993), a journalist, champion of rights for working women and pioneer of planned parenthood. The 1.70k (pictured above) depicted Joe Hill (1879-1915), a member of the American worker's movement who is famous for his songs and poetry. Born Joel Emmnauel Hagglund in Gavle, Sweden on October 7, 1879, he emigrated to the United States in 1902. He worked at a variety of jobs from coast to coast in the United States as well as in Mexico, Canada and Hawaii and became engaged in working as an organizer with the "Wobblies." As a consequence, he was targeted as a suspect in a murder in Salt Lake City and, despite a dire lack of evidence, convicted and executed by firing squad.

The first EUROPA stamps were issued in 1956 by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands as members of the European Coal and Steel Community. In 1960 adminstration was taken over by CEPT (European Conference of Posts and Telecommunications) and Sweden issued its first EUROPA stamp. The stamps had common designs until 1974 when a common themes, for that year "sculpture," replaced the common design types for the annual issues; there were two exceptions: 1984 when a common bridge design was adopted to mark the 25th anniversary of CEPT and 2000 to mark the millenium. CEPT is now known as POSTEUROP and includes countries from Greenland to Turkey and Ukraine.


Euroswiss. "The common themes (1974-1989)." The Europa stamps history. n.d. Web. 7 Jan. 2016.

Mackay, Dr. James. "EUROPA Stamps." The Complete Guide to Stamps & Stamp Collecting. 37.
     London: Hermes House, 2005.

Rosemount, Franklin. Joe Hill The IWW & the Making of a Revolutionary Working Class
. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2015.

"Sweden." Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. 2008.

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