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U.S. stamp to recognize old road, old city

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An old road and an old city will receive special recognition by the U.S. Postal Service.

The old road, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, built in America's Southwest by a Spanish expedition, celebrates its 400th anniversary this summer. To hail the occasion, the Postal Service will issue a 32-cent commemorative stamp this summer. As a double celebration, the stamp also honors the founding four centuries ago of the Spanish settlement at the old city, San Gabriel, N.M.The new stamp features a photo of La Mision de San Miguel and is a replica of the church at San Gabriel. The building is located in present-day Espanola, N.M., near the site of the original Spanish settlement. On top of the stamp is the wording, Spanish Settlement of the Southwest 1598.

According to the USPS, this stamp recognizes that much of the history of the Southwest hinged on the first successful Spanish settlement of the Upper Rio Grande. In 1598, a Spanish expedition led by Don Juan de Onate created the first road, which was called the "royal road to the interior land," and later built the first European (Spanish) settlement west of the Mississippi River.

The Stamp Fullfillment Center of the Postal Service offers first-day covers for the new stamp and all other new issues. They will be postmarked with the official first-day of issue cancellation. For more information, call 1-800-STAMP-24.