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).

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.

Christmas Carols Stamps October 5

Christmas Carols
Christmas Carols

The Christmas Carols forever stamps will debut October 5 nationwide. The first-day ceremony is scheduled to take place at noon at the American Stamp Dealers Association’s Fall Stamp Show. The ceremony will be in the Rheinlander Gallery of the New York Hilton Midtown,  1335 Avenue of the Americas, 6th Ave. and West 53rd St., New York, New York.

The ceremony participants include U.S. Postal Service Brand Marketing Executive Director Christopher Karpenko; American Philatelic Society American Philatelist Editor Jay Bigalke; and U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Director Mary-Anne Penner.

Here is some additional information on the Christmas Carols stamps from the U.S. Postal Service:

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the Holiday season with four new Forever stamps featuring images that illustrate a major theme of each of four beloved Christmas carols: “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls,” “Silent Night” and “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.” Familiar lines from each song highlight the individual stamps. The shades of blue in the backgrounds of the stamps evoke the evening scenes from the four carols. This booklet of 20 stamps includes five of each design. The late Howard E. Paine was the art director. Artist Steve McCracken of Winchester, VA, created original art for the project.