Space Pioneer John Glenn and the 1962 Project Mercury Stamp

United States 4-cent Project Mercury stamp.
United States 4-cent Project Mercury stamp.

John Glenn (1921–2016) is linked to one of modern U.S. postal history’s most interesting tales that will likely never be repeated. Here is the story, according to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, with an excerpt below:

On February 20, 1962 , John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Minutes after his safe return, the Post Office released the Project Mercury stamp—the first U.S. commemorative stamp issued at the same time as the event it celebrated. It had been prepared in complete secrecy in case the mission did not succeed.

To keep the project quiet, the stamp’s designer worked from home while claiming to be on vacation. The picture engraver also gave the impression he was on leave, but came in at night. Another engraver did the lettering on weekends.

Just over 400 people knew the secret, about half of them postal inspectors. As the day approached, stamps were sent in sealed packages to 305 post offices, still a mystery even to the postmasters themselves.

Love Skywriting Stamp to Debut January 7

Love Skywriting (Love series)
Love Skywriting (Love series)

The United States Love Skywriting special forever stamp will be issued January 7 nationwide. The first-day-of-issue ceremony is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. at the Planes of Fame Air Museum, Chino Airport, 7000 Merrill Ave #17, Chino, California.

The museum has additional details on the event page of their website.

Here is the USPS media advisory on the ceremony with additional information:

Love Skywriting Forever Stamp Dedication
Includes Skywriting Demo at Chino, CA, Air Museum

WHAT: First Day of Issue ceremony for the Love Skywriting Forever Stamp that will include a skywriting demo to replicate the stamp image.
WHO: USPS Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President David Williams
Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Operation Gratitude Chris Clark
Skytypers President Stephen Stinis
Skytypers CEO and Squadron Commander Greg Stinis (skywriter pilot)
Planes of Fame Aviation Historian and Air Museum Moderator Kevin Thompson

WHEN: Sat., Jan. 7 at 10 a.m.  (Free admission to the first 300 attendees)

WHERE: Planes of Fame Air Museum,  7000 Merrill Ave. #17, Chino, CA 91710

BACKGROUND: The 10 a.m. program will begin with a discussion about a World War II Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and how it was used for mail delivery during the war followed by the skywriting demonstration at noon.

The Love Skywriting stamp will add a sweet, romantic touch to letters and cards, not only on Valentine’s Day, but all year round. The stamp art depicts the word “Love” written in white cursive script against a blue sky studded with wispy clouds. Underlining the word is a decorative swirl of smoke. A small, stylized plane, dwarfed by the giant letters, completes the end of the swirl, with smoke trailing from its tail. Louise Fili of New York City designed the stamp, illustrated by Jessica Hische of San Francisco. Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, was the art director.

Note: If the weather becomes an issue, the skywriting demo will take place the next day.

Year of the Rooster Stamp Issue Date Announced

Year of the Rooster (Celebrating Lunar New Year series)
Year of the Rooster (Celebrating Lunar New Year series).

The United States Postal Service will issue the Year of the Rooster commemorative forever stamp January 5 nationwide. The first-day-of-issue ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, 719 S. King Street, Seattle, Washington.

Here is the USPS media advisory announcing the issue date for the stamp with additional information:

Postal Service to Celebrate 2017 Lunar New Year
Issuing Year of the Rooster Forever Stamp

What: The U.S. Postal Service rings in the Year of the Rooster by issuing the tenth of 12 stamps in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series. The Year of the Rooster begins on Jan. 28, 2017 and ends on Feb. 15, 2018.

Who: Greg G. Graves, vice president Area Operations – Western Area,
United States Postal Service
Yibo Lu, director, Chinese Radio Seattle’s CRS Office
Beth Takekawa, executive director, The Wing Luke Museum
Ron Chew, CEO, Chew Communications
Assunta Ng, founder and publisher, Seattle Chinese Post and Northwest Asian Weekly

When: Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, 11:30 a.m.

Where: Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, 719 S. King Street, Seattle, WA 98104

Background: The most important holiday of the year for many Asian communities around the world, the Lunar New Year is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage.

Continue reading “Year of the Rooster Stamp Issue Date Announced”

Letters From Santa Program Details

[USPS Press Release]

U.S. Postal Service Letters FROM Santa Program
Provides Santa’s Personalized Response to Your Child’s Letter
Great Photo Opportunity to Treasure for Years

santaletterNORTH POLE — Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus — and the U.S. Postal Service can help you prove it when Santa replies to your child’s letter — complete with a North Pole postmark.

Here are the steps for your child to get a letter back from Santa:

1. Have your child write a letter to Santa and place it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole.

2. Later, when alone, open the envelope and write a personalized response.

Continue reading “Letters From Santa Program Details”

Wyeth Stamp Issue Date Announced

Andrew Wyeth
Andrew Wyeth

The 12 new United States Andrew Wyeth commemorative forever stamps will be issued July 12 nationwide. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

The details on the issue date were first published by Art Fix Daily and confirmed by U.S. Postal Service spokesman Roy Betts.

The paintings depicted are Alvaro and Christina, 1968; Big Room, 1988; The Carry, 2003; Christina’s World, 1948; Frostbitten, 1962; North Light, 1984; Sailor’s Valentine, 1985; Soaring, 1942–50; Spring Fed, 1967; My Studio, 1974; Wind from the Sea, 1947; and Young Bull, 1960.

Here are the details on the Wyeth stamps from the USPS November 23 press release:

Andrew Wyeth
Mastering a realistic style that defied artistic trends, Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) created haunting and enigmatic paintings based largely on people and places in his life — a body of work that continues to resist easy or comfortable interpretation.

Finding endless inspiration both in his hometown of Chadds Ford, PA, and in rural Maine, he scrutinized the lives, houses and personal belongings of people around him, sometimes painting their portraits but just as often using objects and places to represent them. 2017 is the centennial of Wyeth’s birth. With subtle symbolism and eerie implications, his work invites us to reinterpret his personal vision. Derry Noyes art directed and designed this pane of 12 stamps.