USPS Postage Rate Increase January 22

The United States Postal Service will increase postage rates starting January 22. Most noticeably the 1-ounce first-class letter rate will increase 2 cents to 49 cents. The international letter, additional ounce, and postcard rates will remain the same. For other rate increase details visit the USPS website.

The flat rate envelope for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express will increase to $6.65 and $23.75, respectively. Two new stamps for that rate will be issued in panes of four. Both of those stamps, will be issued Sunday, January 22 in Kansas City, Missouri. No ceremony is planned for either of the actual locations in Hilo, Hawaii or St. Louis, Missouri.

Here are the USPS details on the $6.65 Lili’uokalani Gardens Priority Mail stamp and the $23.75 Gateway Arch Priority Mail Express stamp:

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Barn Swallow Envelopes Takes Flight in Reno at AmeriStamp Show

The United States will issue Barn Swallow forever stamped envelopes (single design) March 3 in Reno, Nevada and nationwide. The American Philatelic Society will host a first-day-of-issue ceremony at 11 a.m. at the AmeriStamp Expo show at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, 4590 S. Virginia Street.

The envelope will be issued in different sizes.

Barn Swallow Stamped Envelope
Barn Swallow Stamped Envelope

Here are additional details about the envelope from the U.S. Postal Service:

The Postal Service celebrates a favorite backyard bird on this Barn Swallow stamped envelope. It features a large illustration of a barn swallow perching and a smaller illustration above it, showing the bird in flight.

The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) originally nested in caves. As man-made structures began to dot the North American landscape, barn swallows adapted by building their mud nests under the eaves of barns, houses and bridges. Barn swallows are acrobatic flyers, and a single bird can catch and consume thousands of insects in one day.

Art director William J. Gicker designed the stamp with original art by Matthew Frey.

Kennedy Stamp to Debut February 20

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy

The United States John F. Kennedy commemorative forever stamp will be issued February 20 at 10 a.m. at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.

Because the event takes place on Presidents Day, the stamp will debut nationwide the next day, February 21.

An image of the full sheet of 12 stamps was also revealed.

Here is the January 9 USPS press release on the event and the stamp issue:

JFK Forever Stamp to be Dedicated on Presidents Day
February 20 Ceremony at Presidential Library

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service will commemorate the centennial of President John F. Kennedy’s birth by dedicating a Forever stamp in his honor at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

The 10 a.m. February 20 Presidents Day ceremony, free and open to the public, will kick off the 6th Annual Presidents Day Family Festival. There is a fee to enter the library and museum to attend the festival. Children 17 years old and under are free.

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Free 2016 U.S. Album Pages

Collectors can save and display their collections of 2016 U.S. stamps on attractive, professional album pages, thanks to the American Philatelic Society.

The just-released 24-page album is available for free via the APS website and has a place for every stamp, from the Quilled Paper Heart Love stamp to the 2016 Christmas Nativity stamp.

The pages include a handsome cover featuring the Military Service Crosses stamps and two blank pages at the back for varieties, booklets, souvenir sheets, etc.  In between, there are 10 pages for singles or multiple issues — showing all the stamps in full color — and 10 pages of accompanying text that explain and describe each new issue.

When printing your pages we recommend using a heavier bond, acid-free paper for better preservation purposes.

To find the 2016 album, plus other free U.S. stamp albums, including annuals going back to the 2008 releases and topicals (such as state pages, black heritage, or military history), click visit

Happy New Year! Goodbye 2016 and Welcome 2017

Goodbye 2016 and Welcome 2017! The year 2016 was a very special year for the American Philatelic Society. Two blockbuster events occurred, one expected and one not.

Inverted Jenny, Position 76.
Inverted Jenny, Position 76.

The unexpected was the discovery and successful return in June of an Inverted Jenny airmail stamp (Scott C3a). The stamp, known as Position 76 for its location in an original 1918 sheet of 100, is one of four once owned by Ethel McCoy and stolen in 1955. Though two others had previously been located and another is still missing, it was a pleasure for this stamp to return to the American Philatelic Research Library, which received the rights to the stolen stamps via McCoy’s will.

American Philatelic Research Library.
American Philatelic Research Library.

The expected event was years in the planning and creating. The new 9,000-square-foot American Philatelic Research Library opened at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. A grand opening for the state-of-the-art facility was held in October.

The APS, celebrating its 130th anniversary, again sponsored two major shows and conventions — the AmeriStamp Expo in Atlanta and StampShow in Portland, Oregon. In addition, the APS played a major role and held a prominent presence at World Stamp Show-NY 2016, the international show held in the United States every 10 years.

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