Woodstock Anniversary Stamp Unveiled to Hendrix’s Anthem

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A U.S. stamp for Woodstock’s 50th anniversary was unveiled at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art with a piercing rendition of the “The Star Spangled Banner” that rivaled Jimi Hendrix’s at the iconic festival.

The Postal Service revealed the stamp, evoking the poster that beckoned a half-million music fans to upstate New York, as 1969 festival organizer Michael Lang said the themes of Woodstock — activism, diversity and social change — remained relevant for 2020 amid talk of gun control, climate change and immigration reform.

“If anyone has a friend or a family member who has never voted,” Lang said, “use this stamp to write a letter to them to encourage them to register and vote this time.”

The stamp, unveiled on Thursday, is one of the few commemorations of the legendary but chaotic event. A who’s who of rock performed Aug. 15-18, 1969, including the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, the Who and Hendrix. Crowd estimates were as high as 500,000, making Woodstock bigger than Atlanta, Cincinnati and Minneapolis at the time.

Jimi Hendrix to Be Honored With Seattle Post Office
James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix Post Office located less than mile from guitar’s player grave in Renton, Washington

As the Seattle Times reports, Renton Highlands Post Office will be renamed the James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix Post Office. The post office is located in the Seattle suburb of Renton, less than a mile from the Jimi Hendrix Memorial in Greenwood Memorial Park cemetery, where Hendrix –a Seattle native– is buried.

“I am honored to join in paying tribute to rock and roll icon and Seattle native Jimi Hendrix with the renaming of the Renton Highlands Post Office as the James Marshall ‘Jimi’ Hendrix Post Office Building,” Smith said in a statement. “This designation will further celebrate Hendrix’s deep connection to the Puget Sound region and help ensure that his creative legacy will be remembered by our community and inspire future generations.”

“Seattle will always be Jimi’s home,” Janie Hendrix, the guitarist’s sister and president and CEO of Experience Hendrix, said at the time. “This very area is where Jimi grew up, where his dreams were cultivated and his creative energy awakened, in many ways. So to see this amazing place of beauty, dedicated to Jimi and his artistry, blossom into reality is indescribably fulfilling.

Before rising to international fame in the late 1960s, Hendrix grew up in Seattle, spending much of his youth in the Central District and attending Garfield High School. There’s no shortage of Hendrix tributes scattered around his hometown — from the statue on Broadway to his namesake park adjacent to the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) — etching “Seattle’s most recognizable son,” as the museum’s director LaNesha DeBardelaben described him, into the city’s history. The Renton post office is less than a mile from the Jimi Hendrix Memorial in the Greenwood Memorial Park cemetery, where the guitar hero is buried.

 

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