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New postage stamps celebrate western screen legends

All four honorees featured in Old Town Newhall’s Walk of Western Stars

Posted: April 1, 2010 12:59 p.m.
Updated: April 1, 2010 5:00 p.m.
 
On Saturday, April 17, the United States Postal Service will release a series of four stamps titled Cowboys of the Silver Screen. The four honorees, all inductees into the Walk of Western Stars in Old Town Newhall, include: William S. Hart, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Tom Mix.

In celebration of the stamp release and William S. Hart's legacy, Friends of Hart Park will host a special ceremony at the William S. Hart Park and Museum on Saturday, April 17, to unveil the Hart Stamp. Special family activities, music and tours will unfold throughout the day following the unveiling ceremony.

"This is a very exciting event for our community and for the historic legacy Bill Hart left in the Santa Clarita Valley," said Mayor Laurene Weste. "Celebrating our community's long history of film by commemorating four of our greatest stars on postage stamps is truly a momentous occasion."

Bill Hart was one of the most popular leading men of the silent film era, unique for his powerful presence and serious approach to early Westerns. He frequently played a tough-as-nails cowboy, with a soft spot for his favorite horse - a brown and white pinto named Fritz.

The Cowboys of the Silver Screen stamp art was designed by freelance illustrator Robert Rodriguez, whose work has been featured on more than a dozen previous stamps. Rodriguez based his portrait of William S. Hart on a likeness of the actor that appeared on a poster for the 1925 film Tumbleweeds.

The Hart Museum, located in Newhall, California, is part of the Natural History Family of Museums. This event is a joint effort by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, Friends of Hart Park, and the United States Postal Service. Below is a schedule of events for the Hart Postage Stamp Unveiling Ceremony on April 17 at Hart Mansion:

10 a.m. - Stamp Ceremony: Visitors are welcome to attend the official unveiling of the new William S. Hart Stamp at Hart Park and Museum. Cowboys of the Silver Screen stamps and cancellations will be available immediately after the ceremony. Early sale of the stamp set will be available beginning at 9:00 a.m.

11 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. - Guided Museum Tours: Tour William S. Hart's 22-room mansion, featuring a magnificent collection of Western artwork, Native American baskets and film memorabilia including costumes and props. Free tours of the Hart Museum begin every half hour.

11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. - Music in the Park with the Silver Screen Cowboy Project: Listen to the original music of the Silver Screen Cowboy Project in Hart Hall, located adjacent to the mansion at Hart Park. Take a trip back to the time of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, and John Wayne through music and multi-media. Admission: Adults $1.00; Children $0.25

12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. - Animal Barnyard Tours: Hart Park's Animal Barnyard is home to 45 animals including ducks, horses, deer, and more. Admission is free. Guests can also stop by the Friends of Hart Park Gift Store and purchase animal feed so you can feed the animals.

1 pm through 4:00 pm - Children's Activities: Visit the Hart Ranch House to learn about a day in the life of a cowboy and participate in crafts and activities. Children are welcome and must be accompanied by a parent. Admission is free.

The Hart Park and Museum is located at 24151 Newhall Avenue. The Park is open 7 days a week until 5 p.m. The Museum is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with tours every half hour.

Admission is free.

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