1972 Team Canada Hockey Team
on New Canada 150 Stamp

One of Canada’s most endearing sports teams — the 1972 Team Canada hockey team — was unveiled today as one of the 10 Canada 150 stamps that will be issued Thursday, June 1.

On September 28, 1972, millions of Canadians watched as Team Canada defeated the Soviet national hockey team in Game 8 of the Summit Series, also known as the Soviet-Canada series.

Team Canada beat the odds, overcoming an early two-goal deficit, the game was tied at 5-5. Canada scored the thrilling winning goal with just 34 seconds left in the third period. The stamp shows Canadian forward Paul Henderson celebrating his game-winning and series-clinching goal against the Soviet team.

The stamp was unveiled today in a ceremony in Winnipeg with many surviving members of the team on hand.

Several factors made this a special hockey series.

It was still the Cold War, so political tensions ran high.

Canada, once dominant in Olympic Games (Canada won the first four gold medals, plus 1948 and 1952, had been knocked off the podium with the Soviets taking three straight gold medals, 1964 through 1972.

And, this was the first competition between the Soviet national team and a Canadian team represented by professional players of the National Hockey League.

Harry Sinden chose the 35-player Team Canada, which included captains, Phil Esposito, Frank Mahovlich, Stan Mikita, and Jean Ratelle. The Soviets had a 31-player team, which included many Olympic champions.

The Soviets won three of the first five games, with Canada winning one and other being a tie. Canada won games six and seven, each by one goal, setting the stage for the thrilling Game 8, the series being tied 3-3-1. With the first four games played in Canada, the finale was staged on Soviet home ice in Moscow.

Henderson, who scored the winning goal, had just hopped onto the ice and said, “I jumped on the ice and rushed straight for their net. I had this strange feeling that I could score the winning goal.”

The team and its players received many honors over the years, including the first team to be inducted en masse into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame. Speaking at that induction in 2005, Team Canada 72 member Phil Esposito said, “A lot of people will go back and say 1972 changed the face of the game and actually I believe it did. I’m not so sure it changed for the better, by the way. But it did change the way we think and look at hockey in this country.”

Canada’s Native Population and Most
Recent Territory on Canada 150 Stamp

Canada’s native population and the creation of its latest, largest, and northernmost territory — Nunavut — is the seventh topic unveiled in the stamp set that celebrates Canada’s sesquicentennial.

Nunavut, a vast area of more than 785,000 square miles and populated primarily by Inuit, residents of native origin, was carved out of the Northwest Territories and formally created in 1999. It’s the only major map change since 1967 when Canada marked its centennial.

The stamp shows a partial portrait of an Inuit woman and the year “1999.” The name of the territory appears in English and native Inuit.

On June 1, Canada Post will issue a set of 10 maple leaf-shaped stamps celebrating significant achievements, places, and people from the past 50 years.

Nunavut has a population of about 37,000. The stamp was unveiled in  the territory’s capital, Iqaluit, which is in the east on Baffin Island.

The Nunavut economy includes mining; oil, gas, and mineral exploration; arts and crafts; hunting; fishing and whaling; tourism; military; and research.

Nunavut is home to the world’s northernmost permanently inhabited place, Alert, which has about 60 residents (and temporary military personnel manning a signals station) and is 508 miles from the North Pole. There are no roads directly connecting Alert to the rest of the province, though there are 530 miles of roadways within the territory.

Another Canada 150 stamp will be unveiled Wednesday and the final two on Thursday when the stamps go on sale in various formats.

Canada Post previously unveiled six previous stamps in the Canada 150 set: Expo 67/Habitat, the patriation of the Constitution and creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadarm (space achievements), Marriage Equality, the Trans-Canada Highway, and Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope. Details are available at canadapost.ca/canada150.

New Book on U.S. 20th Century
Postal History — ‘Prexie Era’

The American Philatelic Society has just published Prexie Era: Postal History and Stamp Production, 1938–1962, a book highlighting 20th century U.S. postal history. Its focus is on stamp production, domestic rates and postal uses, as well as the changes of international mail routes, delays, and rates shaped by historical events of World War II.

Louis Fiset, who edits and publishes the quarterly newsletter, The Prexie Era, and has written and exhibited widely on the postal history of the period, has compiled 15 essays written by nine experts in the field. Their extensive knowledge and passion for their subject are well known to both collectors and exhibitors.

This will be the first major book on the subject since Bill Helbock’s 1988 tome, Prexie Postal History, and Roland Rustad’s The Prexies, in 1994. Rather than repeat information readily available, information in this volume focuses on a time period when the Prexies were in current use rather than on the Prexie series, exclusively. The Prexie era offers rich opportunities for collecting mail generated during times of explosive change, such as wartime crises and expanded airmail service. Stamps throughout the era contribute.

Topics included in the essays are diverse and range from Albert “Chip” Briggs’s two essays on production and uses of the 3-cent Jefferson stamp to Ralph Nafziger’s World War II censorship of first-day covers. Stephen L. Suffet concludes this volume with a provocative essay arguing why the Prexie era should end in 1962.

Prexie Era: Postal History and Stamp Production, 1938–1962 is in soft cover, 8.5 inches by 11 inches, 276 pages, with 407 full-color philatelic illustrations, seven tables, bibliography with 102 references, and index. It is available on the APS website, $39 to APS members and $43 to non-members (shipping not included.

$2 Inverted Jenny Stamp to Remain
on Sale Until Sold Out

The United States $2 Inverted Jenny souvenir sheet will remain on sale at post offices until sold out. The May 25 announcement of the stamp being removed from sale, as posted in the Postal Bulletin, was in error.

“The $2 inverted Jenny stamps will remain on sale until sold out,” said USPS spokesman Mark Saunders. “Stamp Services will make a correction in the Postal Bulletin.”

The $2 Inverted Jenny stamps are only available at post offices that still have them in stock. The USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services location no longer has any supply of the souvenir sheet.

The stamp was issued in September 2013 and 100 sheets were printed with the airplane flying the correct way. Those stamps were distributed throughout the stock and collectors have been hunting for the variety since its debut.

Inspirational Cancer Warrior Terry Fox Honored in Canada 150 Series

Terry Fox — a determined young athlete who seemingly willed himself into the spirit of an entire nation — will be featured on a stamp in a set commemorating Canada’s sesquicentennial.

Fox, a Winnipeg native, was just 18 in March 1977 when doctors discovered he had an aggressive form of bone cancer and amputated his right leg 6 inches above the knee.

Three years later, Fox doggedly set out on a cross-country fundraiser on April 12, 1980 by dipping his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean in St. John’s, Newfoundland and started running westward, intent on raising money to fight cancer.

Dubbed the “Marathon of Hope,” Fox managed about 26 miles a day, but was disappointed by a lukewarm reception through the Maritimes and Quebec. But by the time he reached Ontario, word had spread about the handsome young athlete with the moppish curly hair and the skip gait who was running the equivalent of a marathon every day.

Money, cheers, and honors started pouring in. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, hockey great Bobby Orr, and actress Maggie Smith were just a few of the many celebs who came out to meet the courageous young runner. He would receive the distinguished insignia of a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Fox bravely hobbled his way nearly to Thunder Bay, Ontario. But the Marathon of Hope sadly ended September 1, 1980 as Fox could no longer run. Cancer had spread to his lungs. Fox covered in 5,373 kilometers (3,338 miles), more than halfway across the country, in 143 days. He died June 28, 1981, a month before his 23rd birthday.

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