People, Places and Events on Stamps


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The stamp, which features a photograph of La Mision de San Miguel de San Gabriel, was issued on July 11, 1998. The building is a replica of the church at San Gabriel and is located in present day Espanola, New Mexico, near the site of the original Spanish settlement.

In 1598, a Spanish expedition led by Don Juan de Oñate created the first European road in the United States, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (the Royal Road to the Interior Land). Later, the expedition built the first European settlement west of the Mississippi at San Gabriel, located in present day New Mexico. El Camino Real eventually extended 600 miles and connected twenty-one missions and four presidios (forts). The expedition initiated 400 years of commerce and cultural exchange throughout the Southwest.