In the spring of 1787, having found the Articles of Confederation inadequate to meet the needs of the united but loosely-knit states, fifty-five delegates from twelve of the thirteen states (Rhode Island refused to participate) assembled in Philadelphia. Their purpose: To write a constitution that strengthened the states' unity, power as a nation, and viability in the world marketplace.
Two hundred years later, on July 4, 1987, the United States Postal Service released the first of the Ratification of the Constitution Bicentennial Issue's thirteen stamps. The Issue commemorates each state's ratification of the US Constitution. The USPS released the thirteen stamps in the order that the states ratified the Constitution, with the first stamp commemorating Delaware on July 4, 1987, and the final stamp commemorating Rhode Island, released on May 29, 1990.
It released nine of the thirteen stamps during 1988 and 1989, and the stamps commemorating Massachusetts, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, and New York were issued on the exact day of their state's bicentennial of ratifying the Constitution. The final stamp of the series, commemorating Rhode Island, was issued on 1990.