Voice of America 1967 FDC by Ralph Dyer

The hand-painted First Day Cover (FDC) by philatelic artist Ralph Dyar for the 1967 Voice of America stamp is displayed in the Cold War Radio online virtual museum. Ralph Dyar was born in Mexico in 1889 and died in 2000 in San Diego, California. A gifted artist, he produced hundreds of U.S. FDCs and some Canadian ones.

During World War II, VOA did not always tell the whole truth, especially in reporting on the Soviet Union, then America’s military ally against Nazi Germany. Pro-Soviet VOA managers and broadcasters hid the truth about Stalin’s crimes and broadcast Soviet propaganda against democratic opponents of communism in Europe. But during the Cold War, the Voice of America staff was changed and VOA was no longer reluctant to report on human rights abuses of communist regimes. Along with Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, VOA broadcasts contributed to the fall of communism in East and Central Europe and in the Soviet Union.

The Voice of America 25th Anniversary Stamp Ceremony was held at the VOA headquarters in Washington, DC on Tuesday, August 1, 1967. Listed on the official program for the ceremony were: Richard G. Cushing, VOA Acting Director; The Honorable Leonard H. Marks, Director of the United States Information Agency; The Honorable Frederic C. Belen, Deputy Postmaster General of the United States. The program named Georg Olden as the designer of the VOA stamp. It noted that he is the same artist who designed the Emancipation Proclamation commemorative stamp of 1963. He was described in the program as an Executive Vice President of a New York advertising agency. During World War II, Georg Olden, the grandson of a slave and the son of a Baptist preacher, was a graphic designer for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner of the CIA. According to his Wikipedia biography article, from 1945 to 1960, Olden worked with William Golden, art director for CBS, and as such was one of the first African-Americans to work in television. A Japanese magazine, Idea, once listed him among the top fifteen designers in the United States.

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