New first-class stamps show five Gulf Coast lighthouses

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 24, 2009

BILOXI (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service started selling first-class stamps Thursday with five Gulf of Mexico lighthouses that withstood hurricanes in 2005.

The 44-cent stamps depict lighthouses in Biloxi, and Sand Island, Ala., battered by Hurricane Katrina; Matagorda Island, Texas, and Sabine Pass, La., which withstood Rita; and Fort Jefferson, Fla., slammed by Wilma.

U.S. Postal Service Governor Katherine C. Tobin spoke at a ceremony Thursday at the Biloxi lighthouse, which is undergoing restoration. The 64-foot structure was built in 1848 and damaged by a 26-foot storm surge in Katrina.

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Tobin said in a news release that the Gulf Coast lighthouses ‘‘have been eyewitnesses to the ravages of the Civil War and withstood devastating storms.’’