USPS Releases “Sneak Peek” of 2018 New Issues

Yesterday, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) offered a sneak peek of their planned new issues for 2018. In a press release including images of the issues announced, the USPS highlighted “a portion of its 2018 stamp program.”

The new issues include Forever stamp designs honoring Mister Rogers, Lena Horne, John Lennon and Sally Ride. Additional stamps will include:

– American landscapes to commemorate the song, “America the Beautiful”;

– Frozen treats that depict various popsicles and frozen confections;

– Four designs celebrating the role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education;

– a celebration of Illinois statehood;

– the American sacrifices in World War I, and;

– much more including bioluminescent creatures, magic tricks and mythical dragons.

No issuance dates or other detailed information was released and the Postal Service did state that the designs and details are subject to change until the actual release of the stamps.

You can find even more information about the announcement, including stamp images on the APS Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/american.philatelic.society

You can also ready the full release from the U.S. Postal Service at: http://bit.ly/2AAync9

Smithsonian National Postal Museum Holds Holiday Card Workshop

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Postal Museum was bustling with visitors Saturday as the museum held its annual holiday card workshop.

Visitors of all ages attended the event, at which they could design their own holiday greeting cards.

NPM Attendees

As visitors entered the museum atrium, they started by choosing two pieces of cardstock, one large and one small. They then moved to embellish their cards with stickers, twine, and other materials available at the various craft stations. Visitors could sit at the tables in the atrium to assemble their cards with glue, scissors and other materials.

The museum’s Post Office was open for visitors to mail their cards affixed with the museum’s special postmark.

The museum also provided a photo booth for visitors to share their photos on social media using the hashtag #nationalpostalmuseum.

Sponge Bob MailboxIn addition to the card making, visitors had the opportunity to write holiday messages to families at The Children’s Inn, an organization that provides housing and support for families with children receiving care at the National Institutes of Health. Visitors wrote messages on Spongebob-themed postcards and deposited them in a special Spongebob-themed mailbox. Director of Education Matthew White said he saw both parents children deposit postcards.

Referring to the Spongebob postcards, Public Programs Manager Motoko Hioki noted in an email, “The letter writing set up is still there in the museum atrium…if anyone wants to participate in the letter writing, they are welcome to do so at the museum until Thursday, December 14th.”

The Postal Museum holds several public events throughout the year, including another card workshop around Valentine’s Day. Volunteer Coordinator Maggie Sigle said the museum also does letter writing campaigns around Veterans Day for Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages and letters to U.S. troops and first responders.

Hioki, who organizes the museum’s public events, detailed their Wine and Design program, available as a once-a-month happy hour event. At these programs, people can come to the museum after hours and complete various postal-related arts and crafts. The events typically occur once a month.

Hioki was instrumental in starting the Wine and Design program at the museum. “People don’t write letters anymore,” she said. “Encouraging people to write is something important to me.”

The Postal Museum continues to provide educational activities for the general public to learn more about stamps, postal history, and the stamp collecting hobby. It is open seven days a week, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.

 by Tasos Kalfas, @TasosKalfasWRGW

All photos courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum

YPL Fellow Dani Leviss Interviewed by Lloyd de Vries

Young Philatelic Leaders Fellow Dani Leviss was recently interviewed by Lloyd de Vries for The Virtual Stamp Club. The interview can be heard with the audio player below or on The Virtual Stamp Club interviews page.

The Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship program was founded by the American Philatelic Society in 2009 to identify and support the best and brightest aspiring philatelists. The program coordinates and funds transportation to, lodging during, and activities at: APS national shows, Smithsonian National Postal Museum, and the American Philatelic Center for enthusiastic young collectors between the ages of 16 and 24. Additionally, YPLF connects participating Fellows with seasoned collectors, exhibitors, writers, and dealers to expand their perspectives and exposure in the philatelic world.

Chicagopex Features Three Book Signings, Two Convening Societies

The blockbuster Chicagopex 2017 show will feature nearly 300 frames of competitive exhibits, 75 dealers, a literature competition, two convening societies, book presentations and signings, and more when it meets November 17 to 19 at the Westin Chicago Northwest.

Here is a glimpse of the highlights, submitted by Melanie Rogers, publicity chair.

The annual philatelic exhibition celebrates 131 years of the Chicago Philatelic Society (www.chicagopex.org).

Columbian Expo TicketThis year’s show theme is “Celebrating the 525th Anniversary of Columbus’ Sailing.” Special souvenir show cachets and cancellation will be available for all three days of the show. There also will be an exhibit of material from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, which took place in Chicago.

There will be 290 frames of philatelic material on display with something of interest for all attendees. This year marks the 51st anniversary of the philatelic literature competition with the books and other materials on display. Chicagopex judges also evaluate electronic literature such as websites, blogs and online articles.

The show bourse will feature 75 dealers from the United States and Europe. They will offer an array of material to interest everyone from the beginning collector to the advanced collector and exhibitor. The U.S. Postal Service and the U.N. Postal Administration will attend.

Two societies will convene: the Society of Israel Philatelists and the British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group. These groups will present special exhibits of stamps and postal history as well as hold meetings open to the public.

The following groups also will meet at the show (all are open to the public):
Chicago Philatelic Society (Saturday)
Germany Philatelic Society Chapter No. 5 (Saturday)
Illinois Postal History Society (Sunday)
• North Shore Philatelic Society (Sunday)

Many of these groups feature expert guest speakers giving talks open to the public. The full schedule will appear in the show program, which will be available at the hospitality desk in the hotel’s atrium. It’s also available at the show website.

There is one book signing each day:

• 1 p.m. November 17 – The Pictorial History of Walt Disney’s First Superstar: Mickey Mouse, Volume One, by Edward Bergen
• 2 p.m. November 18 – U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad (1832-1875), by Hugh V. Feldman
• 11 a.m. November 19 – Holocaust Postal History, by Justin Gordon

Facebook PageCopies of the books will be available for sale. Visit the Chicago Philatelic Society’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/chicagopex) to find specific events and the show program, including specific conference rooms.

The show includes a youth booth with free stamps and supplies.

Attendees are asked to contact the hotel to make reservations and to mention Chicagopex for the special room rate. Admission and parking are free. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday night will feature a catered awards banquet. Tickets must be purchased in advance ($60 each) and dress is business casual. Please see the Chicagopex website for the reservation form. Special diets can be accommodated upon request.

1972 Team Canada Hockey Team
on New Canada 150 Stamp

One of Canada’s most endearing sports teams — the 1972 Team Canada hockey team — was unveiled today as one of the 10 Canada 150 stamps that will be issued Thursday, June 1.

On September 28, 1972, millions of Canadians watched as Team Canada defeated the Soviet national hockey team in Game 8 of the Summit Series, also known as the Soviet-Canada series.

Team Canada beat the odds, overcoming an early two-goal deficit, the game was tied at 5-5. Canada scored the thrilling winning goal with just 34 seconds left in the third period. The stamp shows Canadian forward Paul Henderson celebrating his game-winning and series-clinching goal against the Soviet team.

The stamp was unveiled today in a ceremony in Winnipeg with many surviving members of the team on hand.

Several factors made this a special hockey series.

It was still the Cold War, so political tensions ran high.

Canada, once dominant in Olympic Games (Canada won the first four gold medals, plus 1948 and 1952, had been knocked off the podium with the Soviets taking three straight gold medals, 1964 through 1972.

And, this was the first competition between the Soviet national team and a Canadian team represented by professional players of the National Hockey League.

Harry Sinden chose the 35-player Team Canada, which included captains, Phil Esposito, Frank Mahovlich, Stan Mikita, and Jean Ratelle. The Soviets had a 31-player team, which included many Olympic champions.

The Soviets won three of the first five games, with Canada winning one and other being a tie. Canada won games six and seven, each by one goal, setting the stage for the thrilling Game 8, the series being tied 3-3-1. With the first four games played in Canada, the finale was staged on Soviet home ice in Moscow.

Henderson, who scored the winning goal, had just hopped onto the ice and said, “I jumped on the ice and rushed straight for their net. I had this strange feeling that I could score the winning goal.”

The team and its players received many honors over the years, including the first team to be inducted en masse into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame. Speaking at that induction in 2005, Team Canada 72 member Phil Esposito said, “A lot of people will go back and say 1972 changed the face of the game and actually I believe it did. I’m not so sure it changed for the better, by the way. But it did change the way we think and look at hockey in this country.”