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February 9, 2004

Commemorative Postage Stamp Ceremony, Statue Unveiling
To Mark 100th Birthday Anniversary Of Theodor Seuss Geisel

By Pat JaCoby

It’s fun to have fun
But you have to know how

From “The Cat in the Hat”

A two-pronged ceremony featuring the unveiling of a commemorative postage stamp and presentation of a life-size statue of Theodor Seuss Geisel will mark the 100th anniversary of the famed author’s birth March 2 at the University of California, San Diego’s Geisel Library.

The public is invited to—as Dr. Seuss would put it—a splendiferous, banner flip-flapping event on the outdoor Forum level of the library.

Opening highlight of the 11 a.m. program will be the official “first day of issue” ceremony by representatives of the U.S. Postal Service, during which a 10 x 8 foot replica of the Theodor Seuss Geisel commemorative postage stamp will be unveiled. Audrey Geisel, the author’s widow, will join postal officials in the ceremony. Representing the Post Office will be Angelo Wider, manager, Finance Administration, U.S. Postal Service.

The colorful stamp, featuring the author/artist surrounded by his whimsical characters, was designed by Carl T. Herrman of Carlsbad. A total 172 million, 37-cent commemorative stamps will be issued by the Post Office.

Also speaking will be Dennis P. Smith, executive director, San Diego Council on Literacy.

A dual event feature will be dedication of a bronze life-size sculpture of Geisel, with a towering 7 ½ foot “Cat in the Hat” looking over his shoulder. The statue is the second and only casting of a sculpture by Lark Grey Dimond-Cates of Rancho Santa Fe, Audrey Geisel’s daughter. The first casting is in Geisel’s birthplace, Springfield, Mass.

Dimond-Cates, who spent nearly four years working on the sculpture, says it depicts him as he was so often—sitting in his study chair, leaning backward, deep in thought. She employed the Cat in her sculpture because “it depicts his alter ego.”

Joining the postal officials and Audrey Geisel as program participants will be the Preuss School Choir, which will open with the national anthem and lead the “Happy Birthday” song finale; Marsha Chandler, acting UCSD chancellor, and Brian E. C. Schottlaender, University librarian.

Enormous birthday cakes will be served at the conclusion of the program.

Exhibitions featuring the work of Theodor Seuss Geisel are being shown in Geisel Library throughout the year. Currently on display to March 27 is “The Dr. Seuss You Never Knew,” a collection of work from his school days at Dartmouth and Oxford, advertising and magazine work from the 1920’s and 30’s, World War II cartoons for P.M. magazine and work for the U.S. Army.

Geisel authored 44 children’s book which have been translated into more than 20 languages and sold more than 500 million copies. Most of his original work is included in the extensive Dr. Seuss Collection at UCSD’s Geisel Library. The approximately 8,500 items in the collection document the full range of Geisel’s creative achievements, beginning in 1919 with his high school activities and ending with his death in La Jolla, Ca., in 1991. An overview of the collection can be found at

For information on the March 2 event or the exhibitions please call (858) 534-2533; for information about the library exhibits call (858) 534-2533.

Media Contact: Pat JaCoby, (858) 534-7404


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