Three-Day SESCAL Show in Southern California Opens Friday

SESCAL MedallionThe 73rd annual Stamp Exhibition of Southern California, a three-day show popularly known as SESCAL, opens Friday at a new venue.

The show – presenting dealers, exhibits, and presentations – will be held at the Ontario Convention Center, 2000 E. Convention Center Way in Ontario. World War I is the show theme.

The U.S. Postal Service and United Nations Postal Administration will be on hand offering their latest products. Thirty-four dealers will have booths, along with the Rossica (Russian) Society, the United States Cancellation Club, and the American Philatelic Society, which will be represented by Executive Director Scott English.

Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions is the official auctioneer and will have auctions every day.

Meetings or presentations are planned from members of the Éire Philatelic Association, Mexico Philatelic Society, Hawaiian Philatelic Society, U.S. Cancellation Society, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, American First Day Cover Society, Rossica Society, the Plate Number Coil Club, and Iran and Japanese study groups. John Hotchner, of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, will lead a forum on exhibiting. Anyone interested in these groups is invited to attend.

Forty-one exhibitors have submitted 200 frames of material for the show, which is part of the World Series of Philately. The titles include “The Coronation Year of King George V,” “The First Modern U.S. Postage Stamp,” “Liberia Ship Letters and Stampless Mail, 1830-1880” and “California Express Companies, 1849-1895.” The grand award exhibit winner will be eligible to compete in the APS’s Champion of Champions competition.

Youth activities are scheduled every day.Facebook Page

Admission every day is free, though there is an $8 daily charge for parking at the convention center.

For more information, visit the show website at www.sescal.org.

U.S. and Canada Reveal Designs of Joint Hockey Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service and Canada Post today revealed the designs for their upcoming History of Hockey joint issue.

The stamps will be formally issued October 20 at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena Belfor Training Center. U.S. Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan will be joined by Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra at the ceremony.

The stamp format is tête-bêche – a joined pair of similar images in which one is upside down – and the design is strong on nostalgia. On an open pond, a player in modern equipment reflects, literally, on the past. Mirrored in the ice beneath him is a player in vintage gear. The imaginative imagery gives a visual sense of looking back through time. The paired images also depict the game’s evolution and its continuing presence in the lives of players and fans alike.

Each country uses the same basic design with just the country indicator and denomination being different. The U.S. stamps have “USA FOREVER” across their tops; the Canadian stamps have the red permanent stamp maple leaf logo in the upper left corner and “CANADA” in the upper right corner.

The Postal Service is honored to partner with Canada Post to produce The History of Hockey stamps,” said Brennan in a news release. “This sport exemplifies a wonderful tradition of competition and camaraderie between our nations, and these commemorative stamps are a special way to celebrate the game that transcends borders.

A souvenir sheet, which will be revealed during the Oct. 20 dedication ceremony, features a scene that illustrates the evolution of the sport across generations. The selvage — or area outside of the stamps on the souvenir sheet — depicts a father teaching his daughter how to play hockey on a pond.

The stamps were designed by Subplot Design Inc., for Canada Post, the artwork is intended to celebrate and reflect on the history of hockey. KC Armstrong of Toronto, Ontario, shot the photographs. Susan Gilson was the art director of the Canadian version of the stamps. William J. Gicker was the art director of the American version of the stamps.

Professional hockey is celebrating the centennial of the National Hockey League, which formally began competition in 1917. Also, hockey fans are acknowledging the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, today emblematic of the annual NHL champion.

Canada Post on September 28 issued its final set of stamps in a five-year series celebrating the NHL’s 100th anniversary.

This is the sixth joint issue for Canada Post and the USPS dating back to 1959, and the first in more than a decade. It’s also their first celebrating a sport.

The first joint issue released by the two postal administrations marked the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Since then, they have jointly commemorated the United States Bicentennial (1976), the 50th anniversary of the Peace Bridge (1977), the St Lawrence Seaway’s 25th anniversary (1984) and the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of the East Coast of North America (2006).

USPS Announces Two New Semipostal Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service announced today that in November it will issue the first of five semipostal stamps. Previous semipostal stamps included the Saving Vanishing Species stamp and the Breast Cancer Research stamp.

Under the program, the Postal Service will issue five stamps over a 10-year period, with each stamp to be sold for no more than two years.

The first stamp issued will be an Alzheimer’s Semipostal Stamp, followed by a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Semipostal Stamp in 2019. The next three discretionary semipostal stamps have not yet been determined.

The Alzheimer’s Semipostal Stamp will be issued during National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Net proceeds will be distributed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Details on issuance date and location will be provided at a later date.

President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than two million Americans were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; today, that number has soared to nearly 5.4 million.

Semipostal stamps, currently sold for 60-cents, are First-Class Mail (FCM) postage stamps that are issued and sold by the Postal Service at a price above the FCM single-piece one-ounce stamp rate (FCM rate) to raise funds for designated causes.

The difference between the FCM rate in effect at the time of purchase and the 60 cent purchase price, minus an amount to offset costs incurred by the Postal Service, if any, is contributed to the specific cause by law.

Under the Semipostal Authorization Act, the Postal Service will consider proposals for future semipostals until seven years after May 20, 2016. The Federal Register notice outlining this program can be found at the following url:  https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-04-20/pdf/2016-09081.pdf.

Proposals will only be considered if they meet all submission requirements and selection criteria. They may be submitted by mail to the following address:

Office of Stamp Services
Attn: Semipostal Discretionary Program
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Room 3300
Washington, DC 20260–3501

Suggestions may also be submitted in a single Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file sent by email to semipostal@usps.govIndicate in the Subject Line: Semipostal Discretionary Program.

All postage stamps are available for purchase at Post Offices, online at usps.com, and by toll-free phone order at 1-800 STAMP-24.

USPS Announces New Hockey Issue

The U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp, or stamps, honoring the centennial of the National Hockey League this fall. Advance information from the USPS and Canada Post imply this could be a joint issue with Canada, which just issued six new stamps featuring NHL star players.

The issue, which was previously unannounced until September 28, will be formally dedicated in an October 20 ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Little Caesars Arena, of the Red Wings, in Detroit, Michigan. The Washington Capitals play at Detroit that evening.

Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan will be joined at that event by Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra for the stamps dubbed “The History of Hockey.”

The USPS did not release stamp images at the time of the announcement and did not indicate it was an official joint issue with Canada.

On September 27, Canada Post issued six NHL centennial stamps that it said concluded its five-year series honoring the professional hockey.

In the 1800s, the sport truly began to take shape in Eastern Canada. By the late 19th century, the game had grown popular in the United States.

American Malcolm Greene Chace became interested in the game and assembled a group of players from various universities. In 1896, a team from Yale, which included Chace, faced Johns Hopkins University in the first college hockey game. Soon, professional leagues formed in North America. And today, women’s hockey is thriving.

The National Hockey Association began play in 1910 and evolved into the National Hockey League in 1917.

In 1924, the Boston Bruins became the first American team to join the National Hockey League.

The Stanley Cup dates to 1892, 125 years ago and was at first awarded to the champions of Canadian amateur hockey. By 1915, the Stanley Cup was being awarded to winners of various top tournaments. From its inception until 1928, the Cup was only awarded once to a U.S.-based team: the 1917 Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association.

Starting in 1927, the Stanley Cup became the trophy awarded to the NHL champion.  The New York Rangers of 1928 were the first U.S.-based team to receive the Stanley Cup. The Red Wings have won the Stanley Cup 11 times, more than any other U.S.-based team. Of the original six NHL teams, Montreal has 24 cups, followed by Toronto (13), Detroit (11), Boston and Chicago (6 each), and the Rangers (4).

Canada Issues Final Lineup in Five-Year Canadian Hockey Legends Series

Canada Post Thursday, September 28, issued the final set of six stamps in its five-year series celebrating the first century of the National Hockey League and the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, the trophy emblematic of hockey supremacy.

The final group — Canadian Hockey Legends — celebrates players considered to be at the most elite level of Canadian hockey: Maurice “Rocket” Richard and Jean Béliveau, of the Montreal Canadiens; Gordie Howe, of the Detroit Red Wings; Bobby Orr, of the Boston Bruins; Mario Lemieux, of the Pittsburgh Penguins; and Wayne Gretzky, of the Edmonton Oilers. All are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The stamps were unveiled and issued in a formal ceremony Wednesday evening at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, a week before the NHL drops the puck on the 2017–18 season.

“The players we immortalized on this year’s stamps redefined hockey over careers that spanned more than 60 years,” said Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra. “They inspired us — and each other — with feats that boggle the mind. They are the Ultimate Six.”

As a group, the all-star lineup scored more than 9,500 points in almost 7,000 regular-season games, won 40 Stanley Cup Championships — 30 as players and another 10 as management — and more than 80 individual awards.

Orr, Lemieux, and Gretzky are still living. Richard died at age 78 in 2000; Béliveau died in 2014 at age 83; Howe died at age 88 in 2016.

This is Lemieux’s first stamp from Canada, Orr’s third, and the second for each of the other four legends. Gretzky, Howe, Richard, and Orr all appear on stamps issued in 2000 for Canada’s 50th anniversary NHL All-Star Game (Scott 1838). Béliveau was honored the next year on a set of NHL Stars stamps (Scott 1885a). Orr appeared on an earlier stamp in this current series as part of the defensemen set issued in 2014.

Designed by Avi Dunkelman and Joe Gault for Mix Design Group of Toronto, each stamp features a head-and-shoulders image of the player in uniform, with the Stanley Cup image ghosted in the background.

Hockey-card souvenir sheets show the players holding the Cup; they are only available in packs of six, like hockey cards.

The 2017 NHL Canadian Hockey Legends issue builds on the NHL Team Jersey stamps released in 2013, the Original Six Defenseman stamps released in 2014, the NHL Great Canadian Goalie stamps in 2015 and the NHL Great Canadian Forwards issue last year.

The stamps are available in several formats, including a mixed booklet of six, containing all six players; those stamps measure 40 mm by 32 mm with simulated perforations, and are printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper with seven-color lithography. Oversized-rate hockey-card-size souvenir sheets are available in a pack of six, as well. Related products: A gummed mini-pane collectors’ item featuring all six players. The mini-pane features a silver foiled and embossed Stanley Cup.