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.

USPS Honors the National Museum of African American History and Culture Forever Stamp On Sale Oct. 13

Celebrating African American History and Culture
Celebrating African American History and Culture

The United States Postal Service has announced a revised issue date for the Celebrating African American History and Culture forever stamp. The stamp will debut nationwide on Friday, October 13.

The event will take place at 8:30 a.m. at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. RSVP is required to attend the ceremony. Please RSVP online at usps.com/nmaahc. Check your e-mail for a confirmation from the Postal Service with additional instructions. This event is standing room only. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. and enter the museum through the 14th Street and Madison Drive entrance.

Ceremony participants will include Ronald A. Stroman, Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Government Relations Officer, U.S. Postal Service; and Lonnie Bunch, Founding Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution.

Here is some additional information about the postage stamp from the U.S. Postal Service:

Black history is inseparable from American history, and the black experience represents a profound and unique strand of the American story. This stamp issuance recognizes the richness of that experience by celebrating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

The stamp art is based on a photograph of the museum showing a view of the northwest corner of the building. Text in the upper-left corner of the stamp reads “National Museum of African American History and Culture.”

Opened on September 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is the 19th Smithsonian museum and the only national museum devoted exclusively to African American life, art, history and culture. The museum’s collections, which include art, artifacts, photographs, films, documents, data, books, manuscripts and audio recordings, represent all regions of the United States and acknowledge the cultural links of African Americans to the black experience around the world as well. The museum provides opportunities for the public to explore and enjoy African American history while demonstrating the centrality of that history to our nation’s past, present and future.

Canada and India Present Joint Issue Marking Diwali, Festival of Lights

Canada Post and India Post have joined hands to issue stamps in two basic designs that celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, an important annual observance for many Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains in Canada and around the world.

The joint issue is a historic first between the postal services.

The stamps were unveiled today, September 21, in a ceremony at Toronto City Hall by Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra; Vikas Swarup, the high commissioner of India to Canada; and Toronto Mayor John Tory.

“The Diwali stamps express our pride in Canada being a land of diverse faiths, customs and celebrations,” Chopra said. “It is fitting that this historic first joint issue celebrates the strong relationship between Canada and India.”

Canada issued two domestic-rate stamps now available, about a month ahead of Diwali celebrations, which will be held from October 19 to 23. . A stamp with a red background is the Canadian design, while one with a gold background was designed by India Post. The souvenir sheet (shown above) has a Canadian international rate stamp and an Indian stamp.

The designs heavily feature the colors of red and gold and a flame within a candle called a diya.

Diwali, a five-day celebration, begins on the 15th day of Kartika in the Hindu calendar. Its main theme is the triumph of light over darkness. The celebration traditionally includes fireworks. In Canada, people often light candles in their homes, while in India, they light small clay lamps filled with oil; illumination is believed to ward off evil and attract happiness and good fortune. Believers also display colorful geometric rangoli patterns to decorate entrances. Families and friends also share sweets and gifts with one another and with those in need.

The stamps were designed by Doreen Colonello of Entro Communications and India Post, and printed by Lowe-Martin. The Permanent domestic-rate stamps measure 30 mm by 35 mm.

American Philatelic Society Names New Editor

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania — Today, the American Philatelic Society announced that Martin Kent Miller of Greer, South Carolina would become the new Editor for the Society. Miller will serve as Editor of the APS flagship publication, The American Philatelist, a monthly journal dedicated to stamp collecting and the Philatelic Literature Review, the quarterly publication of the American Philatelic Research Library.

Miller, 49, joined the APS in 2008, but has been a stamp collector since 1974. His collecting interests include philatelic materials related to the USS North Carolina, the 1934–35 National Parks series, and a single-issue collection of the 1937 West Point commemorative. He is currently President and Founder of The Image Forge, a corporate communications firm in Greer in operation since 2003. In 2012, Miller branched out into the social media world as Co-Founder and Director of Marketing for Socialtopias in Charlotte, NC. He was Global Communications Manager for Michelin Aircraft Tire Corporation in Greenville, SC from 2000 to 2003 and Vice President and General Manager of Hell Gravure Systems, North America in Schaumburg, IL and through their relocation to Inman, SC.  Miller holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Harding University in Searcy, AR where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

“We’re excited to have Martin joining the team,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the APS, “He brings a wide range of experience in publication, marketing, and branding to our organization. We hope to leverage his talents not only with the publications, but leading the way in growing our online presence to promote the APS and the hobby.”

While Miller’s primary responsibilities will be managing the two publications of the APS and APRL, he will also lead the efforts to revamp the APS website and develop the online strategies for promoting the APS and the hobby to a whole new audience.

“Philately has always been the unifying point of my varied interests — art, design, printing and history,” commented Miller. “I’m honored to now have the opportunity to combine my professional experience with the hobby that holds my love and passion.”

Miller officially joins the APS team on October 1, 2017, but will begin working with current Editor Jay Bigalke immediately.