Alzheimer’s Semipostal Will Be Issued November 30

The U.S. Postal Service will issue its next semipostal – the Alzheimer’s stamp – November 30 at the Johns Hopkins Asthma & Allergy Center Atrium, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, in Baltimore, Maryland.

The stamp, priced at 60 cents, will be available nationwide that day. The price includes the first-class single-piece postage rate in effect at the time of purchase plus an amount to fund Alzheimer’s research. By law, revenue from sales of the Alzheimer’s semipostal — minus the postage paid and the reimbursement of reasonable costs incurred by the Postal Service — will be distributed to the National Institutes of Health, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

2008 42-cent Alzheimer’s Awareness stampIf the stamp looks familiar, you’re correct. The artwork is an illustration that first appeared on the 2008 42-cent Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp. It shows an older woman in profile with a caring hand on her shoulder with the suggestion of sunlight behind her and clouds in front of and below her. On the 2008 stamp, she was facing left; the artwork for this stamp shows her facing right to help differentiate between the two stamps.

Stamp artist Matt Mahurin, of Topanga Canyon, California, created the stamp with the direction of art director Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland.

President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; today, that number has soared to nearly 5.4 million.

The first-day event will be free admission and open to the public, though an RSVP is required to attend the ceremony. Those interested can RSVP at usps.com/alzheimers.

Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan J. Brennan will dedicate the stamp. In attendance will be Kathy Siggins of Mount Airy, Maryland, who followed the discretionary semipostal program criteria for submitting the stamp suggestion. Siggins’ husband succumbed to the disease in 1999.

Customers may pre-order the stamps at usps.com/shop in early November for delivery shortly after the Nov. 30 issuance.

Semipostal Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service has issued four previous semipostals, starting with the Breast Cancer Research in 1998, which was reissued in 2014. Subsequent semipostals have been the Heroes of 2001 (2002), Stop Family Violence (2003) and Save Vanishing Species (2011).

The Semipostal Authorization Act grants the U.S. Postal Service discretionary authority to issue and sell semipostal fundraising stamps to advance such causes as it considers to be ‘‘in the national public interest and appropriate.’’ Under the program, the Postal Service intends to issue five semipostal fundraising stamps over a 10-year period, with each stamp to be sold for no more than two years.

The Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp will be followed by a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) semipostal in 2019. The next three discretionary semipostal stamps have not yet been determined.

Under the Act, the Postal Service will consider proposals for future semipostals until May 20, 2023.

USPS Announces Two New Semipostal Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service announced today that in November it will issue the first of five semipostal stamps. Previous semipostal stamps included the Saving Vanishing Species stamp and the Breast Cancer Research stamp.

Under the program, the Postal Service will issue five stamps over a 10-year period, with each stamp to be sold for no more than two years.

The first stamp issued will be an Alzheimer’s Semipostal Stamp, followed by a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Semipostal Stamp in 2019. The next three discretionary semipostal stamps have not yet been determined.

The Alzheimer’s Semipostal Stamp will be issued during National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Net proceeds will be distributed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Details on issuance date and location will be provided at a later date.

President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than two million Americans were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; today, that number has soared to nearly 5.4 million.

Semipostal stamps, currently sold for 60-cents, are First-Class Mail (FCM) postage stamps that are issued and sold by the Postal Service at a price above the FCM single-piece one-ounce stamp rate (FCM rate) to raise funds for designated causes.

The difference between the FCM rate in effect at the time of purchase and the 60 cent purchase price, minus an amount to offset costs incurred by the Postal Service, if any, is contributed to the specific cause by law.

Under the Semipostal Authorization Act, the Postal Service will consider proposals for future semipostals until seven years after May 20, 2016. The Federal Register notice outlining this program can be found at the following url:  https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-04-20/pdf/2016-09081.pdf.

Proposals will only be considered if they meet all submission requirements and selection criteria. They may be submitted by mail to the following address:

Office of Stamp Services
Attn: Semipostal Discretionary Program
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Room 3300
Washington, DC 20260–3501

Suggestions may also be submitted in a single Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file sent by email to semipostal@usps.govIndicate in the Subject Line: Semipostal Discretionary Program.

All postage stamps are available for purchase at Post Offices, online at usps.com, and by toll-free phone order at 1-800 STAMP-24.

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.”

New Book on U.S. 20th Century
Postal History — ‘Prexie Era’

The American Philatelic Society has just published Prexie Era: Postal History and Stamp Production, 1938–1962, a book highlighting 20th century U.S. postal history. Its focus is on stamp production, domestic rates and postal uses, as well as the changes of international mail routes, delays, and rates shaped by historical events of World War II.

Louis Fiset, who edits and publishes the quarterly newsletter, The Prexie Era, and has written and exhibited widely on the postal history of the period, has compiled 15 essays written by nine experts in the field. Their extensive knowledge and passion for their subject are well known to both collectors and exhibitors.

This will be the first major book on the subject since Bill Helbock’s 1988 tome, Prexie Postal History, and Roland Rustad’s The Prexies, in 1994. Rather than repeat information readily available, information in this volume focuses on a time period when the Prexies were in current use rather than on the Prexie series, exclusively. The Prexie era offers rich opportunities for collecting mail generated during times of explosive change, such as wartime crises and expanded airmail service. Stamps throughout the era contribute.

Topics included in the essays are diverse and range from Albert “Chip” Briggs’s two essays on production and uses of the 3-cent Jefferson stamp to Ralph Nafziger’s World War II censorship of first-day covers. Stephen L. Suffet concludes this volume with a provocative essay arguing why the Prexie era should end in 1962.

Prexie Era: Postal History and Stamp Production, 1938–1962 is in soft cover, 8.5 inches by 11 inches, 276 pages, with 407 full-color philatelic illustrations, seven tables, bibliography with 102 references, and index. It is available on the APS website, $39 to APS members and $43 to non-members (shipping not included.

Inspirational Cancer Warrior Terry Fox Honored in Canada 150 Series

Terry Fox — a determined young athlete who seemingly willed himself into the spirit of an entire nation — will be featured on a stamp in a set commemorating Canada’s sesquicentennial.

Fox, a Winnipeg native, was just 18 in March 1977 when doctors discovered he had an aggressive form of bone cancer and amputated his right leg 6 inches above the knee.

Three years later, Fox doggedly set out on a cross-country fundraiser on April 12, 1980 by dipping his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean in St. John’s, Newfoundland and started running westward, intent on raising money to fight cancer.

Dubbed the “Marathon of Hope,” Fox managed about 26 miles a day, but was disappointed by a lukewarm reception through the Maritimes and Quebec. But by the time he reached Ontario, word had spread about the handsome young athlete with the moppish curly hair and the skip gait who was running the equivalent of a marathon every day.

Money, cheers, and honors started pouring in. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, hockey great Bobby Orr, and actress Maggie Smith were just a few of the many celebs who came out to meet the courageous young runner. He would receive the distinguished insignia of a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Fox bravely hobbled his way nearly to Thunder Bay, Ontario. But the Marathon of Hope sadly ended September 1, 1980 as Fox could no longer run. Cancer had spread to his lungs. Fox covered in 5,373 kilometers (3,338 miles), more than halfway across the country, in 143 days. He died June 28, 1981, a month before his 23rd birthday.

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