Displaying items by tag: USPS

The United States Postal Service’s stamp celebration of Earth Day will be subdued, because the previously announced April 18 first-day ceremony has been canceled.

The nondenominated (55¢) forever stamp will be issued to post offices as planned, but like many recent public gatherings around the world, the ceremony in Denver, Colo., will not take place on the issue date because of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

As Linn’s reported March 23, the Postal Service has canceled first-day ceremonies through mid-May in response to the pandemic, while noting that special dedication ceremonies might take place later.

The Earth Day stamp marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, a nationwide event celebrating environmental action. The event was developed in 1970 by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin (1916-2005).

The offset-printed stamp will be issued in a double-sided pane of 20, which the Postal Service describes as a booklet.

The stamp shows “a playful painting of the planet, with small green lines surrounding Earth and hand-lettered text,” according to the Postal Service. It was designed by USPS art director Antonio Alcala with typography by Ricky Altizer.

Alcala’s illustration of Earth was created with gouache on watercolor paper. “EARTH DAY” is lettered above the planet in blue, and “FOREVER” appears below the globe. “USA” in green substitutes for one of the green lines to the right of the “FOREVER” inscription.

Banknote Corporation of America printed 175 million stamps (8.75 million double-sided panes) for the Postal Service.

The new stamp is not the first U.S. issue to commemorate the annual Earth Day celebration.

The Postal Service and McDonald’s sponsored a national environmental stamp design contest for children in 1995. Four winning designs were chosen from more than 150,000 entries, and four 32¢ Kids Care Earth Day stamps reproducing the winning designs were issued April 20, 1995 (Scott 2951-2954).

Each stamp in the set also has microprinted text within the design spelling out the phrase “EARTH DAY.”

The stamps marked the 25th anniversary of the first Earth Day.

As part of the 1998-2000 150-stamp Celebrate the Century series, one stamp in the 1999 set featuring events of the 1970s also commemorates Earth Day. The 33¢ stamp (Scott 3189a) designed by Howard Paine features an illustration by artist Kazuhiko Sano showing Earth gently cradled in two hands.

On the reverse of the stamp is descriptive text about Earth Day.

According to the Earth Day Network, the mission of the annual event is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.

“Growing out of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in over 190 countries to drive positive action for our planet.”

Increases in environmental pollution in the 1960s and the publication in 1962 of Rachel Carson’s widely read Silent Spring, which described how pesticides adversely affect humans and wildlife, led to a growing ecology movement and the first Earth Day in the United States.

“On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10 percent of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet,” according to the Earth Day Network.

In the aftermath of the first event, the U.S. Post Office Department issued four 6¢ stamps in the Anti-Pollution issue (Scott 1410-1413). The United States Environmental Protection Agency was established Dec. 2, 1970, and the Clean Air Act was passed by Congress before the year ended.

As it does every year, Earth Day falls on April 22, which in 2020 is four days after the new stamp will be issued.

Community cleanup and awareness events are scheduled to take place in cities and towns around the world, including rallies and presentations, teach-ins and more.

Pictorial first-day cancels celebrating the new Earth Day forever stamp feature lettering similar to that on the stamp, along with bordering elements such as growing plants and flowers, and flowing waters.

Source: linns.com

Published in News

Love is celebrated with Made of Hearts, the latest stamp in the U.S. Postal Service’s Love series, available now. This heart-filled design is just right for thank-you notes, get-well cards or any occasion when love is the perfect message. A dedication ceremony for the stamp was held today at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Made of Hearts Forever stamp is just right for thank-you notes, get-well cards or any occasion when love is the perfect message.

Made of Hearts Forever stamp is just right for thank-you notes, get-well cards or any occasion when love is the perfect message.“While issued in time for Valentine’s Day, these stamps need no special holiday,” said David E. Williams, USPS chief operating officer and executive vice president. “Used as an expression of friendship, romance, encouragement, or simply ‘thinking of you,’ the Made of Hearts stamps will deliver your message in style.”

The connection between sentiment and the heart symbol is at least as old as the ancient Greeks. Images of ivy, grape and fig leaves — all shaped like the heart — were crafted in art and on pottery to symbolize abiding love. Use of the heart as an expression of romantic constancy is also reflected in the concept of courtly love that was the fashion in the Middle Ages.

Today, the heart is used to signify more than romantic or eternal love. Hearts are featured in many slogans that denote a love of place and in the logo designs of many businesses and organizations. A favorite motif in art, hearts are design elements frequently found on furniture, jewelry, textiles, shoes and clothing. The heart is universally understood to symbolize devotion, affection and love.

Made of Hearts stamp artwork features horizontal lines of red and pink hearts on a white background. Toward the center, red hearts in varying sizes replace pink hearts in a formation that creates one large red heart, the focal point of this graphic design. Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp and was art director for this project.

News of the Made of Hearts stamp is being shared with the hashtag #LoveStamps.

Postal Products

Made of Hearts is being issued as a Forever stamp in panes of 20. This Forever stamp is always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through The Postal Store at usps.com/shop, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.

Information on ordering first-day-of-issue postmarks and covers is at usps.com/shop.

Source: postalnews.com

Published in News

Earlier this week we dealt with the popular belief that because the US Constitution mentions post offices, it would take a constitutional amendment to eliminate or privatize the USPS. Today we have the flip side of that myth- the belief that the US Postal Service isn’t part of the federal government. You see this in news stories often- FedSmith ran a column just a week ago referring to the USPS as a “quasi-governmental entity”, that had been privatized in 1971! The Gallup Organization, which was responsible for the poll we reported earlier today naming the USPS the best-liked government service, referred to “the quasi-governmental U.S. Postal Service” in an earlier poll report. A recent story in the Atlantic claims that “Postal services were quasi-privatized in the US decades ago”. Just to make things interesting, the Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe once referred to the USPS as “a quasi-federal outfit”– whatever that means!

Most of the quasi-confusion can be traced back to the 1971 Postal Reorganization Act, which eliminated the old Post Office Department, replacing it with the US Postal Service. The act was intended to make the USPS self-financing from its own revenues, and to make it an independent, non-political public service. Prior to the PRA, postmasters (including the postmaster general) were political appointees; rates were set by Congress, and the POD had to go through the appropriations process to get the money it needed to operate.

The PRA established a Board of Governors who were responsible for selecting the PMG and setting policies and budgets. It allowed the USPS to use its revenue to finance its operations without any appropriation process. It set up a separate commission to set postage rates.

What it didn’t do was privatize the postal service in any way, shape or form. Some in Congress, then as now, would have favored privatization. Consideration was also given to making the USPS a government owned corporation, like the TVA or Amtrak. But neither of those things happened. Here’s what the Act says:”The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States”. It also defines the USPS as “an independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States”. Being “independent” doesn’t make the USPS a “quasi-” anything- it simply means it is not part of one of the cabinet departments. Other “independent” agencies include the CIA and NASA.

In a footnote to its most recent report on postal finances, the Congressional Research Service, part of the Library of Congress, had this to say:

The USPS often is mischaracterized as a quasi governmental or private entity. It is neither. The USPS is a government agency that was created by Congress to achieve various public purposes. Federal law defines what products and services the Postal Service may offer. Additionally, the USPS’s employees are federal employees who participate in the Civil Service Retirement System, the Federal Employees Retirement System, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

The Supreme Court has even weighed in on what being “independent” means for the USPS, in an opinion from 2004:

The PRA’s designation of the Postal Service as an “independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States,” 39 U. S. C. §201, is not consistent with the idea that the Postal Service is an entity existing outside the Government. Indeed, the designation indicates just the contrary. The PRA gives the Postal Service a high degree of independence from other Government offices, but it remains part of the Government.

That would seem to settle it, wouldn’t it?

Source: postalnews.com

Published in News

The issue date for the set of four Tyrannosaurus Rex forever stamps is expected to change to late August, the U.S. Postal Service has announced.

The planned ceremony date for the set of four Tyrannosaurus Rex forever stamps will be rescheduled, the United States Postal Service announced May 15.

“Due to a scheduling conflict, the previously announced first-day-of-issue ceremony for the Tyrannosaurus Rex forever stamps is being rescheduled from June 28 to possibly the last two weeks of August,” the Postal Service said in a press release. “We will announce the specific date and more details about the event as information becomes available.”

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., is still expected to be the ceremony site, according to the Postal Service.

Source: linns.com

Published in News

The United States Postal Service is selling a boxed set in association with the Transcontinental Railroad forever stamp pane issued May 10 in Promontory Summit, Utah.

The set contains six imperforate (not die cut) panes of what the Postal Service describes as progressive proofs, in the following forms: cyan proof, magenta proof, yellow proof, black proof, cymk [cyan, magenta, yellow, black] composite, and gold foil.

Also included are a standard die-cut pane of the issued stamps, a red protective sleeve with gold foil imprint, a certificate of authenticity card, and a 44-page book with a yellow cover that is imprinted with gold foil.

The box containing these items has a gold foil impression on the otherwise solid blue lid. Sepia illustrations decorate the inside of the base and the lid.

The boxed set was offered at the USPS sales counter in Utah during and after the first-day ceremony for the set of three Transcontinental Railroad forever stamps, with a selling price of $79.95 as USPS item No. 570429.

The box and the book are sized just slightly larger than the issued stamp pane and the proof items, which measure 5.85 inches by 10.32 inches.

The boxed set bears some similarity to the $2 Jenny Invert numbered boxed set offered by the Postal Service for $200 in 2013 and sold between Aug. 9 and Oct. 15 of that year.

The prooflike items contained in that earlier set are mentioned in a note in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers following the listing for United States Scott 4806, but not assigned a value.

The new Transcontinental Railroad boxed set, which is not numbered, seems likely to receive a similar catalog treatment.

Roughly two-thirds of the book tells the story of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, while the final pages describe the process of designing, printing and processing the new stamps.

The stamps were the first to be printed on the Gallus RCS press by Banknote Corporation of America, combining four-color offset lithography with the application of gold foil in an inline-process. One benefit of the inline foil application is that it reduces the opportunities for printing errors.

The new machinery allows the successful printing of gold foil lines at .72 points of thickness, “a mere hundredth of an inch,” according to the book.

The individual proof panes for the four single colors each show an impression of one color only, with just the single plate number digit for that color showing in the bottom margin area.

The composite color proof has no gold impression and shows the full plate number of B1111.

The gold foil proof has no plate number and no additional color.

The proof panes provide the collector with some insight into the production process: specifically, how the four colors and the gold foil are combined in the standard pane to create the framed train portraits by Michael Deas and the ornate typographic elements by Kevin Cantrell.

Although various products associated with the Transcontinental Railroad issue were offered on the USPS Stamp Store website after the stamps were issued, including pin sets, cacheted covers, art prints and more, the boxed set was not offered online as of late Tuesday morning, May 14

Source: linns.com

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