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No quiet desperation at Thoreau's 200th birthday observance

Posted July 12

FILE- In this May 23, 2017, file photo, actor and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr., a board member of the Walden Woods Project, applauds during the dedication of the U.S. Postal Service's new Henry David Thoreau postage stamp at Walden Pond in Concord, Mass. Thoreau is being honored on the 200th anniversary of his birth. The U.S. Postal Service says it plans to hold a special dedication of the recently released stamp of the 19th century American philosopher and naturalist Wednesday, July 12, at his birthplace in Concord, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

— The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. The rest are observing the 200th birthday of Henry David Thoreau, the author who penned that line.

The U.S. Postal Service marked the occasion Wednesday with a new postage stamp honoring the "Walden" and "Civil Disobedience" writer, philosopher and naturalist.

Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts, on July 12, 1817.

Concord Postmaster Ray White and officials from the Thoreau Farm and Birthplace were on hand to dedicate the stamp. They say it's in tribute to Thoreau's "personal example of simple living, his criticism of materialism and the timeless questions he raises about the place of the individual in society."

Fans gathered at Walden Pond, where Thoreau lived and worked, to read aloud from "Walden" and other classics.

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