APS President Announces Resignation

Board of Directors Will Meet to Elect New President

Mick ZaisToday, American Philatelic Society President Mitchell “Mick” Zais submitted his resignation from the Board of Directors to serve as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Zais was nominated for the post on October 3, 2017 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 16, 2018.

“On behalf of the APS members, I would like to thank Mick for his years of service on the APS Board,” said Scott English, Executive Director, “Even with his new responsibilities, I hope he still has time to collect, visit a few stamp shows, and even recruit a few new members in the Nation’s Capital. Best of luck in the next chapter!”

Mick Zais has been an APS member since 1976, joining after attending Interphil 1976, the seventh international show held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Zais is a 1969 graduate of United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the U.S. Army for 31 years, retiring as a brigadier general. From 2000 to 2010, he served as president of Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. Zais was elected South Carolina Superintendent of Schools in 2010 and held office from 2011 until 2015.  In 2013, Zais was elected to the Board of Vice Presidents and became President in 2016.

Filling the Vacancy

In keeping with the APS Bylaws (cited below), the APS Board of Directors has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 5 p.m. EDT to elect a new president from the board. The newly elected president will complete Zais’ term through August 2019.

The newly elected President will then appoint a replacement board member to fill the vacancy on the board, subject to approval by the APS Board of Directors, to fill the remaining term on the board ending in August 2019.  A meeting to take up that appointment will be scheduled at the May 23 Board meeting.

The meeting is open to the public and APS members are welcome to join the call at:

Toll-free Number: 888-537-7715
Passcode: 13291358#

From the APS Bylaws:

5.7      Vacancies.
Death, Resignation or Other Removal from Office. In case of a vacancy in the office of any of the officers of the Society because of death or removal, such vacancy shall be filled as follows: In the office of President, by election by the Board of Directors from among its own membership. In any other elective or administrative office, by appointment by the President, subject to approval of the Board of Directors. In the event of vacancy in the office of President, the Board of Vice Presidents shall call a meeting of the Board of Directors within ten (10) days for the purpose of naming a new President. Such vacancies shall be filled subject to the term limitations of 5.2 (c) and (d).

Statue of Freedom Stamps to be issued at APS headquarters

First responders – firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical service professionals – will be honored sometime this year on a single commemorative stamp, according to a new schedule and announcement of new stamps from the U.S. Postal Service. The date and location of the stamp’s release was not announced.

A group of three high value stamps – $1, $2, $5 – featuring an image of the Statue of Freedom which stands atop the Capitol Dome also were announced. The stamps will have a formal first-day ceremony June 27 at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The date – a Wednesday – coincides with the midway point of the American Philatelic Society’s annual Summer Seminar on Philately.

The new stamps were announced, along with a full calendar of release dates for other stamps from June through September.

Also newly released was a full design of the previously announced John Lennon stamp pane, which will be part of the Music Icons stamp series, whose previous releases have included stamps for Johnny Cash and Janis Joplin. The John Lennon pane of 16 features the same basic image design, but each of four rows features different colorations. Ablack-and-white photograph of Lennon seated at his white piano appears on the reverse side of the stamp pane, along with Lennon’s signature and the Music Icons series logo.

The complete summer release schedule is as follows (all stamps are first-class forever stamps unless noted):

$1, $2, $5 Statue of Freedom  June 27            Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

O Beautiful (pane of 20)         July 4  Colorado Springs, Colorado

WWI: Turning the Tide          July 27            Kansas City, Missouri

The Art of Magic (strip of 5)  August 7         Las Vegas, Nevada

Dragons (block of 4)   August 9         Columbus Ohio (StampShow)

U.S. Air Mail (red)     August 11       College Park, Maryland

John Lennon (Music Icons series; 4 colors)   September 7    New York City

Birds in Winter (block of four)           September 22 Quechee, Vermont

The Statue of Freedom Stamps to be formally issued at the headquarters of the American Philatelic Society feature the head of the statue that tops the United States Capitol dome, in a modern interpretation of an engraved vignette originally created for a 1923 stamp ($5 Head of Freedom Statue). The engraved artwork was originally created for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing by John Eissler (1873–1962). Rendered in emerald green ($1), indigo ($2) and brick red ($5), the tightly cropped enlargements highlight the solid and dashed lines and the crosshatching characteristic of engraved illustrations. The $1 and $2 stamps will be sold in panes of 10; the $5 stamp in panes of four.

American sculptor Thomas Crawford (1814–1857) created the allegorical Statue of Freedom during the mid-1850s. She wears a variation on a Roman helmet — circled by stars, topped with an eagle head, and embellished by feathered plumes meant to evoke Native American headdress. Installation of the statue onto the new Capitol dome was completed in 1863.

All three stamps are printed in intaglio and were designed by Art Director Greg Breeding.

Likewise, the First Responders stamp was previously unannounced. The digital illustration is a symbolic scene that shows three first responders in profile, facing right, as they race into action. From left to right, the first figure is a firefighter carrying an axe. The second figure is an EMS worker, with the EMS Star of Life visible on her cap, upper arm and emergency bag. The third figure is a law-enforcement officer shining a flashlight toward unknown danger ahead.

The firefighter is in red, the EMS worker in white and the police officer in blue, colors that are both patriotic and symbolic of the profession. The dark background and signs of smoke in around the figures suggest the wide range of situations that demand the immediate attention of a first responder.

Artist Brian Stauffer worked with art director and designer Antonio Alcalá and designer Ricky Altizer to create this stamp.

USPS to Celebrate 100th Anniversary of U.S. Airmail Service

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the centennial of official airmail service in the U.S. this year with a pair of new stamps, one of which will be issued today (May 1) in a ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

Airmail service officially started May 15, 1918 with flights between Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as flights between Philadelphia and New York City.

The new blue-and-white United States Air Mail stamp – which is a forever first-class domestic commemorative – features a drawing of the type of plane typically used in the early days of airmail, a Curtiss JN-4H biplane. The stamp is printed in intaglio — a design engraved into the stamp paper – and has been produced in panes of 20. A stamp in dark red with the same design will be released this summer, also likely in Washington, D.C.

The first-day ceremony at 11 a.m. will be part of a day filled with events at the National Postal Museum.

The museum will open an exciting new exhibit – “Postmen of the Skies” – which also celebrates the centennial of airmail.

Pilot goggles, leggings, helmets and logbooks, along with route maps, telegrams and airmail-related pop culture artifacts, will invite visitors to witness and experience the birth of commercial aviation. Visitors will also experience rare historic photos and see an archival “you-are-there” video that tells the story of the origins of airmail.

The American Philatelic Society and the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum will host the launch of Stamp of the Century, a book about the famous philatelic error, the Inverted Jenny. The authors, Kellen Diamanti and Deborah Fisher, will be on hand from noon to 2 p.m. to talk with museum visitors and sign copies of their book, which will be for sale in the museum gift store. From 6 to 8 p.m. the next evening, the authors will be part of the museum’s History After Hours program for an evening book talk and signing. The book is also available from the APS at www.stamps.org/publications.

Two interactive events take off that day, as well. There will be an airmail-themed scavenger hunt and visitors can try their luck at an airmail board game.

After a series of experimental flights in previous years, the Post Office Department and U.S. Army worked cooperatively to launch official airmail service in 1918. Army planes and pilots were used to fly the first mail runs. The Post Office Department took charge of service later that summer, operating it from Aug. 12, 1918, through Sept. 1, 1927. The first east-west route (New York to Chicago) started December 18, 1918.

The stamp celebrates the courage of the pioneering airmail carriers and the foresight of those who fostered the new service and made it a success. Airmail delivery, daily except Sundays, became part of the fabric of the American economy and spurred the growth of the nation’s aviation industry.

Dan Gretta designed the stamp while Greg Breeding was art director.

Scheduled to speak at the first-day ceremony are Bill Harris, deputy director, Department of the Air Force; Susan Brownell, vice president of supply management for the United States Postal Service; Elliot Gruber, director, and Nancy Pope, head curator, both of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

Cheryl Ganz Selected to Sign Roll of Distinguished Philatelists

Cheryl R. Ganz, Ph.D., has been selected to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists, regarded by some as the world’s pre-eminent philatelic honor. The roll was established in 1921 by the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain with the approval of King George V, who was the first signatory.

Cheryl Ganz Award with Mick Zais
APS President Mick Zais awards Cheryl Ganz the prize for the Single-Frame Champion of Champions at AmeriStamp Expo 2018.

Ganz, of Winfield, Illinois near Chicago, is a 40-year member of the American Philatelic Society with a long list of philatelic accomplishments, including being a 2016 recipient of the prestigious APS Luff Award and the Alfred F. Lichtenstein Award for Distinguished Service to Philately. In February, Ganz won the Single-Frame Champion of Champions at AmeriStamp Expo for her exhibit, “Zeppelin LZ-129 Hindenburg Onboard Postmarks.” Ganz is curator emerita for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum, where she served as curator from 2005 to 2014.

Ganz will be the lone American among four signatories in 2018. The others are Robert Abensur, of France; Gustaf Douglas, of Sweden; and Geoffrey Lewis, of Australia. The Signing Ceremony will take place on July 27 at The Assembly Rooms in Newcastle upon Tyne, during the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain.

Not including the newly elected RDPs, 380 philatelists from 40 countries have achieved the distinction of signing the roll. There are at present 78 signatories from 26 countries including 16 from the United Kingdom, 14 from the U.S., seven from Germany, four each from France, and Belgium, and three each from Australia and Italy. Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, and Thailand each have two, with other countries including Austria, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Greece, Israel, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, The Russian Federation, and Switzerland, having one.

At a recent meeting of the Board of Election, comprising Jane Moubray (chair), Tomas Bjäringer, Christopher Harman, Alan Huggins, Rolf-Dieter Jaretzky, Robert Odenweller, Christopher King and Raymond Todd, the members unanimously decided to ask the four named to sign the Roll.

In its formal news release, the RDP notes that Ganz “is known for her lifelong philatelic outreach at local, national and international levels, engaging a vast spectrum of collectors from specialists to new audiences. Her collections, exhibits, research and writing, and speaking focus primarily on her specialty of zeppelin posts.”

Philatelic recognitions include the Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award, Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately, Alfred F. Lichtenstein Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Philately, American Air Mail Society Research Award … She has written and edited books, articles, and online content, putting philately in a wider context to reach larger audiences without sacrificing philatelic scholarship. Her service to organized philately is multi-faceted in a variety of positions of influence and accomplishment.”

The news release offers the following about this year’s other signees:

Abensur has researched widely and his main collecting and researching areas are the postal rates and regulations of France and Alsace-Lorraine. His latest book published in 2017 is The Franco-Sardinian Route in International Relations (1818-1851) and his articles on various subjects number more than 100 in France and elsewhere. He has been president of the Académie de philatélie since 2002 and was awarded the chevalier dans l’ordre des Art et des Lettres in 2009, and gained a Large Gold Medal at FEPA 2015.

Douglas has formed what are considered to be the most complete collections of both Sweden and Finland in existence. His monographs are always of the highest standard and he has attained Gold and Large Gold medals in international exhibitions since 1971. He co-authored Sweden Number One, in 2005. He was awarded the Tilleard Medal of the Royal Philatelic Society London as well as the Strandell Medal, the highest philatelic recognition in Sweden, in 2014 and is presently working hard as Head Patron for Stockholmia 2019.

Lewis’ collections have included the postal history of Spanish Philippines, Cuba, New Orleans and stampless mail entering Spain. He has won FIP Large Gold medals in postal history with exhibits on the subject matter of each of the three continental areas: Asia, Europe and the Americas.  In 2013 he attained a Large Gold Medal for his well-written study – The 1836 Anglo-French Postal Convention. He was president of the Philatelic Society of New South Wales between 1998 and 2013, was chairman of the jury at Sydney 2015 and president of the organizing committee of the National Philatelic Exhibitions held in Sydney in 2007 and 2011.

Dragons Will Invade American Philatelic Society’s StampShow

You may want to consider packing some heavy armor, shields, crossbows, magic potions or anything else that might tame or slay a dragon if you plan on visiting Columbus, Ohio this August.

The U.S. Postal Service will issue four new Dragons stamps during StampShow, scheduled for August 9 to 12 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.

StampShow – sponsored by the American Philatelic Society – is the nation’s largest annual philatelic show and promises to be more exciting than ever. This is first time the show will be co-sponsored with the American Topical Association, the group that helps collect stamps by topics, such as heraldry, legends and dragons.

The show will offer philatelic activities, exhibits and experiences, making it an event for collectors and non-collectors of all ages. There will be hundreds of exhibits, stamp rarities on display, specialty societies on hand, presentations, youth and beginners’ activities and dozens of dealer booths. The U.S. Postal Service plans to be at the show with an extraordinary booth.

Something sure to make the show more enjoyable will be the society’s new mobile app for the show, scheduled for release May 1.

StampShow, which moves among locations annually, will serve as the 132nd convention of the society, which has about 29,000 members worldwide.

The four new U.S. stamps will be issued in panes of 16.

“The high-flying, fire-breathing mythological creatures … have roamed our imaginations for millennia,” the Postal Service said in a news release.

The stamps feature digital illustrations created by artist Don Clark of Invisible Creature studio. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps.

The designs show:

A green fire-breathing dragon towering over a medieval-inspired castle.

A purple dragon with orange wings and sharp black armor on its back snaking around a white castle that evokes Camelot.

A black dragon with green wings and green armor on its back swooping past a ship on the sea.

A wingless orange dragon, inspired by creatures from Asian art, architecture and ancient religion and lore, weaving its way around a pagoda.

“We’re very excited to bring these beautiful stamps to the 132nd annual APS convention,” said U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Director Mary-Anne Penner. “This is one of the premier stamp shows in America and serves as an excellent platform to showcase these special stamps.”

“We’re thrilled to have USPS unveil these great stamps with us in Columbus,” said Scott English, APS executive director. “There will be something for the whole family highlighting this cool theme. No experience necessary, so we hope you will join us!”

The U.S., not home to many dragons of lore, has not issued many stamps with dragons; maybe just a couple from Lunar New Year series. The 2000 Lunar New Year stamp (Scott 3370) features a paper-cut styled dragon to mark the Year of the Dragon. The 2012 Lunar New Year stamp (Scott 4623) features a colorful dragon head of the type used in parades and celebrations. Many European and Asian countries have included dragons on stamp. They include Austria, Cambodia, China, Great Britain (including this year’s Game of Thrones set), Japan, Jersey and the Philippines.

More information about StampShow and the APS can be found online at https://stamps.org/STAMPSHOW-SS.

More information from the U.S. Postal Service can be found online at: https://aps.buzz/2GaraS0