Favorite Links of the Past Week (or Two)

In the past two weeks, the Internet has been buzzing with stamp news. Here are some of our favorites!

The of stamps in the Flags of Our Nation series was released August 16, and last week the stamps were also unveiled at the Wyoming State Museum. The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle was there to cover the local event.

The legacy of venerable Mexican-American dancer and choreographer José Limón lives on through the , which has a lively and fun Facebook page. (Check out the company’s profile picture!) Limón is one of four dancers honored on the Innovative Choreographers stamps.

We were simply delighted by this heartwarming story of a different kind of love letter—those shared between a daughter at sleep-away camp and her mother—on a Huffington Post parenting blog.

Smithsonian Magazine profiled Stamp Collector in Chief, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

NorthJersey.com shared a video of a special dedication of the Larry Doby stamp at the Patterson, New Jersey, Post Office, while Yankees On Demand posted a video of the dedication of the Joe DiMaggio stamp. DiMaggio and Doby are two of the four athletes featured on the Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps sheet.

The National Postal Museum‘s online exhibition Victory Mail provides insight for students on life before email and texting.

Have some favorite stamp- and letter-related stories? Share them with us in the comments.

Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc.

Disney•Pixar Stamps Continue to Charm

If our Instagram feed is any indication, you all love the new Mail a Smile stamps. These “cute,” “adorable” stamps are the second in a two-part issuance that began last year with Send a Hello. Both sheets feature favorite characters from Disney•Pixar movies like Finding Nemo, Up, and Toy Story 2. And all of them have helped make mail time the best time of the day!

Most of the pictures of the Mail a Smile stamps that we see on Instagram look a little something like this. (We took this one for you all! )

But have you ever turned the pane over and looked closely at the back?

Those illustrations are actually blue-pencil sketches created by artists at Pixar Animation Studios. Even though Pixar is responsible for almost every major breakthrough in computer animation and continues to reset the bar in technology, the company begins every project the old-fashioned way: with a simple sketch. For Pixar, science inspires art and art challenges science. Both always serve the story; that’s the secret of Pixar’s success.

Want to share the stamps *and* sketches with your friends? The Mail a Smile postcards include both. (Click image to order.)

Come follow USPS Stamps on Instagram and show us your favorite stamps! And if you’re as crazy about Disney•Pixar movies as we are, head over to our newest Pinterest board, The Wonderful World of Disney.

Disney/Pixar Materials: © Disney•Pixar

Bringing Stamps Into the Classroom with Stamps Teach

Are you a teacher or homeschooler? Add some fun and interest to your current curriculum by joining Stamps Teach! This pilot program is operated by the American Philatelic Society, the nation’s largest stamp collecting organization, in partnership with the New Initiatives Committee of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s Council of Philatelists.

Participants will receive free lesson plans, activities, worksheets, our curriculum-connected calendar and teaching guide, and postage stamps to use as hands-on learning tools in the classroom.

To sign up or learn more, visit the Stamps Teach website.

Flags of Our Nation Stamps Pay Homage to “America the Beautiful”

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

Do you recognize these words? They are the opening lines of one of the best-known patriotic songs in the U.S., “America the Beautiful,” written by Katharine Lee Bates (1859–1929). They also inspired the look of the four Stars and Stripes stamps in the recently completed Flags of Our Nation series: “spacious skies” in 2008, “amber waves of grain” in 2009, “purple mountain majesties” in 2010, and “the fruited plain” in 2012.

Feel like wearing your patriotism in 2012? Today’s your lucky day because we’ve got two Size Medium Flags of Our Nation t-shirts (featuring the “fruited plain” Stars and Stripes on the front and the stamps from Set 6 on the back) to give away. All you have to do is answer the following question correctly:

The Flags of Our Nation series includes a total of sixty stamps: four depicting the Stars and Stripes, fifty featuring official state flags, and six others. What are the six others?

Send your answers to uspsstamps [at] gmail [dot] com. We will select two winners at random. Deadline for entries is midnight EDT on Wednesday, August 29. Good luck!

The Eagle Has Landed: Remembering Neil Armstrong

Today we pause to remember Neil Armstrong (1930–2012), who, on July 20, 1969, became the first person to walk on the moon. “That’s one small step for man,” he famously said from the lunar surface, “one giant leap for mankind.”

The U.S. Postal Service has issued several stamps commemorating the historic achievement, which was the fulfillment of President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 commitment to put a man on the moon. This stamp was issued in 1999 as part of the Celebrate the Century: The 1960s stamp pane.

Armstrong died Saturday, August 25, near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Posted in History, Space | Tagged astronaut, moon, moon landing, NASA, Neil Armstrong, space, space program