May 19, 1998
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The U.S. Postal Service today unveiled the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame stamp at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend. The stamp is one of 15 commemorative stamps that will salute “The Roaring Twenties” as part of the Celebrate the Century program.
“The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame were the most celebrated football players of their time,” said Michael Coughlin, Deputy Postmaster General, who unveiled the stamp. “The Postal Service is proud to include this legendary squad in our Celebrate the Century commemorative stamp program.”
Celebrate the Century is a commemorative stamp and education program honoring some of the most memorable and significant people, places, events and trends of each decade of the 20th century.
The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame — Harry Stuhldreher, Jim Crowley, Don Miller and Elmer Layden — are remembered as one of the greatest college backfields ever. Their record as a quartet was 30 wins and two losses, with their last victory in the 1925 Rose Bowl. The nickname for the men was conceived by New York Herald-Tribune sports reporter Grantland Rice, who wrote after the Army-Notre Dame game in 1924: “Outlined against a blue, gray October sky the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden.”
After Rice’s article, a photo conceived and shot by publicity aide George Strickler launched the Four Horsemen into the national arena. This photo depicted the four players dressed in their uniforms on top of four horses from a local stable. This photograph is the image portrayed on this 1920s Celebrate the Century stamp.
“The Four Horsemen were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from 1952-1970,” said Bernie Kish, executive director of the College Football Hall of Fame. “We are pleased this Celebrate the Century stamp will be unveiled at the Hall of Fame where these sports heroes are honored.”
“Notre Dame football has a rich tradition and history of outstanding coaches, players and alumni,” stated Joe Theismann, Notre Dame alumnus and former NFL star quarterback who spoke at the ceremony. “I am pleased as a former Notre Dame player to take part in this stamp unveiling.”
Other speakers involved in the ceremony today included former Notre Dame basketball coach Digger Phelps, a member of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee; Michael Coughlin, deputy Postmaster General of the United States Postal Service, and former Notre Dame Hall of Fame running back Creighton Miller who represented the four families. Among those attending the ceremony were former Irish football coach Ara Parseghian, current coach Bob Davie and executive vice president emeritus Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C.
The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame stamp is one of 15 stamps honoring the 1920s which will be available on a collectible sheet beginning May 28. The 1920s stamps will join the 1900s and 1910s stamps currently available at post offices nationwide. Also this month, through May 30, the public will have the opportunity to vote on which subjects will later appear on stamps honoring the 1960s by completing ballots at their local post office or online at the Celebrate the Century Web Site (http://stampvote.msn.com).