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 stamps.org/Free-Album-Pages.

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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Oscar de la Renta, St. Louis Arch, Hawaiian Garden on New 2017 U.S. Stamps

The United States Postal Service announced another grouping of stamps to be issued in 2017. Here are links to the other 2017 stamps previously revealed in September and another batch in November. No issue dates have been announced for these newly revealed 2017 stamps.

Here is the USPS press release on the new stamps:

Additional 2017 Stamps Announced
Renowned fashion designer Oscar de la Renta,
St. Louis’ Gateway Arch Featured

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service today announced more stamps to be issued in 2017.

“The new year is shaping up to be exceptional as the Postal Service continues to produce stamps that celebrate the people, events and cultural milestones that are unique to the history of our great nation,” said Mary-Anne Penner, U.S. Postal Service Director, Stamp Services. “We are very excited to showcase these miniature works of art to help continue telling America’s story as we add to the lineup of 2017 stamps announced earlier.”

Here are the newest additions:

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The Nativity — The Manger

Not many nations — even those with a strong Christian base — put an image of the Nativity on their stamps much before the 1970s. As we saw in our Christmas Firsts blog, Hungary first put Nativity imagery on a stamp in 1943. (For argument’s sake, we’re calling the Nativity as depicting the Holy Family — Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus in a manger-like setting.)

The 2016 stamp with a silhouette design was just the third U.S. stamp showing a manger scene.
The 2016 stamp with a silhouette design was just the third U.S. stamp showing a manger scene.

The United States has rarely put an image of a manger scene or Holy Family on a stamp, instead for a religious motif at Christmas opting for master artworks of the Madonna and Child, along with the occasional angel. The first full Madonna and Child stamp was in 1966, followed quickly by a second in 1967. Two more were issued in 1973 and 1975, and in 1978, the Postal Service started a run of 22 consecutive years showing a Madonna and Child master artwork. No Christmas stamps were issued in 2000, and although it’s been more sporadic, the Madonna and Child imagery has appeared on 10 more stamps.

In 1970, the religious U.S. stamp showed a manger scene, presenting Nativity (1523), by Lorenzo Lotto, and in 1971, the stamp showed a detail from Adoration of the Shepherds (c. 1505) by Giorgione, followed in 1976 by Nativity (c. 1777), by John Singleton Copley. Not until this year, did another manger/Nativity scene show up on a U.S. Christmas stamp. Interestingly, this year also saw a new Madonna and Child stamp.

It’s interesting to see how other nations present the Madonna and Child, some in traditional forms, sometimes in modernized images, and some depicting the Holy Family in that country’s traditional stylings.