Tuesday, November 5, 2013
U.S. Railroad Engineers 29.4.1950
The 1950 3¢ violet brown U.S. Railroad Engineers Issue commemorates the role of railroad engineers in building America. The stamp pictures folk hero John Luther “Casey” Jones, who was killed in a train wreck near Vaughn, Mississippi.
The stamp was issued in Jackson, Mississippi, on 29.4.1950, the 50th anniversary of Jones’ death. Jones, who lived in Jackson, had a reputation for always staying on schedule – “get there on the advertised,” as the saying went. He was also known for his unique use of a train whistle.
On April 29, 1900, Jones had completed a run to Memphis, when he volunteered to return to Canton, Mississippi, that same night to replace another engineer who was sick. While trying to make up time, he collided with the rear cars of another train that had moved to a side rail, but still was partially on the main rail. Jones was able to reduce his speed from 75 miles per hour to 35, which helped prevent likely deaths among the passengers. He was the only fatality.