Writer, Philosopher, and Naturalist
Henry David Thoreau Commemorated
on a Forever Stamp

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates writer, philosopher, and naturalist Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) on the bicentennial year of his birth.

Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau

The forever stamp will be formally celebrated May 23 in an 11 a.m. ceremony at the locale to which Thoreau is most connected, tranquil and picturesque Walden Pond State Reservation (at the Visitors Center) in Concord, Massachusetts.

Thoreau’s personal example of simple living, his criticism of materialism, and the timeless questions he raises about the place of the individual in society and humanity’s role in the natural world, he continues to inspire new generations to assert their independence, reinterpret his legacy, and ask challenging questions of their own.

The stamp features and oil-on-panel painting by contemporary artist Sam Weber of Brooklyn, New York. The painting is based on a famous 1856 daguerreotype by Benjamin Maxham. On the right side of the stamp is Thoreau’s signature of his last name. Below the signature is a branch of sumac leaves. Art director Greg Breeding, of Charlottesville, Virginia, designed the stamp. Weber also was the artist for the 2015 Flannery O’Connor 3-ounce stamp.

This is the second U.S. commemorative for Thoreau. A stamp for the 150th anniversary of his birth issued in 1967 features a drawing by sculptor and illustrator Leonard Baskin.

The first-day ceremony is free and open to the public.

Those expected to be on hand include Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy, U.S. Postal Service General Counsel and Executive Vice President Thomas J. Marshall, Select Board Town of Concord Chair Michael Lawson, and Walden Woods Project Board Member, environmentalist and actor Ed Begley Jr., who has acted in scores of television shows (St. Elsewhere, Living With Ed, Better Call Saul) and movies (This is Spinal Tap, Pineapple Express).

Walden Pond, known as a kettle hole in geological terms, was formed by glaciers about 11,000 years ago. Thoreau lived on the northern shore of the pond for two years starting in the summer of 1845. His account of the experience was recorded in Walden (or Life in the Woods), and made the pond famous. The land at that end was owned by Thoreau’s friend and mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Canada Celebrates Same-Sex Marriage With Fourth Canada 150 Design

The fourth stamp in the Canada 150 set of 10, to be issued June 1, honors the country’s legalization of same-sex marriage.

On July 20, 2005, Canada became the first country outside Europe and the fourth in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide after the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act. Previous countries passing a similar law were the Netherlands (2000), Belgium (2003), and Spain (2005).

The stamp shows a multicolored Pride flag. It also carries the Canada 150 branding and the combined maple leaf-and-P symbol denoting it as Permanent, a forever first-class rate stamp.

The stamp was unveiled at The 519 in Toronto and live via the Canada Post Facebook page. The 519 is a city agency and a Canadian non-profit that serves the local neighborhood and the broader lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) communities in the Toronto area.

According to its website, The 519 — a space for change — works with its neighbors and the LGBTQ community and offers such services as refugee settlement counseling, consulting, and “free, accessible and accepting space where people can gather, organize, and work toward common goals.”

The Canada 150 set of 10 will be formally issued June 1. Between now and then, six more stamp designs will be unveiled. All picture items that have occurred since the centennial in 1967.

Canada Post has previously unveiled Habitat and Expo 67, the patriation of the Constitution and creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canadarm, as the first three celebratory moments of 10 in its Canada 150 program. Details are available at canadapost.ca/canada150.

You Can Help Stamp Out Hunger
This Saturday, May 13

You can help our letter carriers help others this Saturday, May 13, during the 25th annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. And, this is the perfect week to pick up a memento to mark the special anniversary.

Postal patrons are asked to leave non-perishable and non-glass contained foodstuffs at their postal delivery boxes, where letter carriers will retrieve them.

Over the last 24 national food drives, letter carriers have collected more than 1.5 billion pounds of food, helped by untold thousands of fellow postal employees, retired letter carriers, family members and friends, according to the NALC website. The food is distributed to local food pantries within the same communities where it was collected.

So, please help those around you who could use a little extra help.

You can mark this special event with a sheet of special postage to collect or to send on mail. Souvenir sheets of 20 first-class (49-cent) Stamp Out Hunger Family Circus PhotoStamps are available from the American Philatelic Society. The sheet, released March 4 at AmeriStamp Expo in Reno, Nevada, features artwork by Family Circus cartoon artist Jeff Keane, son of comic creator Bil Keane. The supply of sheets ($22.99 plus shipping) is limited through the APS specialty store.

Compex 2017 Show, May 19–21, in Chicago Area

Compex 2017 is being held on the weekend before Memorial Day, May 19, 20, and 21, at the Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights, Illinois (Chicago area). Hours of the show are: Friday and Saturday — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

Compex 2017 (Combined Philatelic Exhibition of Chicagoland) is comprised of nine Chicago area clubs holding their individual exhibits under the same roof at the same time.  Member clubs of Compex 2017 will presents a wide variety of exhibits for the viewing pleasure of all in attendance.

For the second time, Collectors Club of Chicago members have been invited to provide a special section of exhibits at Compex. At present, CCC members will have approximately 150 frames of exhibits on display.   Please be sure to view these exhibits in addition to the Compex club exhibits that will be on display. There will be something of interest for everyone to see.

This year’s theme is, “Honoring the United States Armed Forces.”  The show will have a total of approximately 180 frames of exhibits. Be sure to see the 10-frame special exhibit highlighting the show theme with a potpourri of American military mail from World War I in the Collectors Club of Chicago section.

Continue reading “Compex 2017 Show, May 19–21, in Chicago Area”

Songbirds Fly Onto British Mail

Spring and early summer songbirds — some familiar and some lesser known — appear on 10 new stamps issued Thursday, May 4, by Great Britain’s Royal Mail.

The first-class stamps are in two se-tenant strips of five on separate panes of stamps.

Birds shown are (top row, from left) Great Tit, Wren, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Skylark; (bottom row, from left) Blackcap, Song Thrush, Nightingale, Cuckoo, Yellowhammer.

The stamps were designed by Osborne Ross using illustrations by Italian artist Federico Gemma.

The stamps also comes in a Presentation Pack that includes a detailed color-illustrated sheet that presents each bird with detailed text by bird author Simon Barnes, photo and identifying silhouette.

Royal Mail also is producing a 10-stamp official first-day cover and similar stamp souvenir (with two different special birding cancellations), each with an information card about the birds; and 10 postcards with enlarged images of the stamps.