Of Stampedes and Stamps

Bill Pickett (1870-1932), the son of former slaves, invented the rodeo event of bulldogging.

This statue at the stockyards depicts Pickett, who performed at Cowtown’s Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show.

Pickett also toured with the likes of Will Rogers, Buffalo Bill, and Iron Tail, a Sioux chief who fought at Little Bighorn and whose profile was a model for the “Indian head” nickel (1913-1938).

In 1994 the Postal Service issued a stamp honoring Pickett. Soon after, the Postal Service was informed that the stamp pictured Bill’s brother Ben. Oops. The Postal Service recalled the 350 million stamps, well, post haste. But just as corrected stamps were being printed, the Postal Service discovered that post office clerks had sold some of the original stamps, creating a rare collectible. To give the public a chance to own the original stamp and to defray reprinting costs, the Postal Service sold a limited number of the original stamps in a lottery.

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