Inverted Jenny Flies Again

Today’s the day. The is set to fly again! If you’re in the Washington, D.C., area and are interested in attending the official release ceremony, come join us at the Smithsonian’s National Postal PaneMuseum, just steps from Union Station. The event kicks off at 1 p.m. and coincides with the grand opening of the museum’s new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery.

This stamp features a new version of perhaps the most famous error in the history of U.S. stamps: the Inverted Jenny, a 1918 misprint that mistakenly showed a biplane flying wrong side up. Reprinted with a $2 denomination to make them easily distinguishable from the 24-cent originals, the Inverted Jennys on this sheet commemorate the many ways a single stamp can turn a moment in history upside down.

For nearly a century, philatelists have chased the Inverted Jennys, accounting for nearly all 100 of them even as the stamp became one of the country’s best known philatelic treasures. In a 1993 episode of The Simpsons, Homer Simpson discovers (and, humorously, discards) a highly unlikely sheet of 40 Inverted Jennys, and the stamp made headlines beyond philatelic circles in 2006, when a faked version appeared on an envelope for an absentee ballot in Broward County, Florida.

Today, two Inverted Jennys soar among the Postal Museum’s treasures. The Inverted Jenny is said to be the postage stamp most often requested for viewing by visitors, and a third Inverted Jenny on long-term loan from the New York Public Library’s Benjamin K. Miller Collection was a major attraction in the Postal Museum’s “Rarity Revealed” exhibition from 2007 to 2009.

Come on down to the museum and check them out!

Upside-Down History: USPS Issues New Inverted Jenny Stamp

History will be on display this Sunday, September 22, when Postmaster General Pat Donahoe dedicates the new at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

The stamp dedication coincides with the grand opening of the museum’s William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, a major expansion of the facility to house the world’s largest stamp collection. The event also heralds National Stamp Collecting Month, which begins October 1.

InvertedJenny-Invite-email.inddIn addition to housing the stamp collection, the remodeled museum has a glowing wall of windows featuring depictions of 54 historic U.S. stamps. The windows provide an impressive backdrop to the 12,000-square-foot exhibit and remind visitors that the history of stamps and the history of America are intertwined.

The “Inverted Jenny” sheet of stamps, issued the day prior to the nation’s first airmail flight in 1918, has become the most publicized stamp error in U.S. history.

PaneThe $2 2013 Stamp Collecting: Inverted Jenny stamp, which is being issued in sheets of six stamps, is now available for preorder at or by calling 800-STAMP-24 ().

New Postal Store & Special USPS Auction Coming to eBay Today!

Exciting news! We have collaborated with eBay, one of the world’s largest marketplaces, to open a Postal Store on the site ( that will offer stamps and other USPS-related merchandise for sale. The store is now open and ready for business!

Later today, USPS will also begin auctioning stamp-related collectible items from the Postmaster General’s Collection.


This proof of the 20th Anniversary of Moon Landing Priority Mail stamp (issued in 1989) is one of only three quality control samples created prior to printing 35 million stamps. It will be auctioned on eBay as part of the Postmaster General’s Collection.

The Postmaster General’s Collection began in the 1860s with a small sampling of stamps and Post Office Department files. Today, and thousands of stamps later, the collection has become a one-of-a-kind stamp archive consisting of unique and rare stamps and original stamp artwork totaling approximately 30,000 items. To preserve the collection, only duplicate items will be auctioned.

“The Postmaster General’s Collection is a stamp collector’s dream,” said Chief Marketing Officer Nagisa Manabe. “It includes U.S. stamps and other rare postal artifacts found nowhere else in the world.”

The current auction of the Postmaster General’s Collection, with more than 100 items, begins today, Sept. 13, at 3 p.m. EDT and expires at 3 p.m. EDT, Mon, Sept. 23. More items will be auctioned on eBay at a later date. Check the special auctions page on eBay for details.

Rep. John Lewis, Gabrielle Union, & Thousands of Americans Help Unveil 1963 March on Washington Stamp

Equality now has a stamp of its own as the U.S. Postal Service introduces the 1963 March on Washington limited-edition Forever® stamp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic milestone. For the first time, we unveiled the stamp artwork with the help of people across the country. Throughout this month, individuals added their photos to the on the to help reveal a small piece of the stamp.

During Friday’s First Day of Issue ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., actress Gabrielle Union added her Twitter profile photo to the mosaic to reveal the final piece of the 1963 March on Washington stamp.

003004Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), the last surviving speaker at the march, joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund President and CEO Wade Henderson; U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr.; Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman; and Union to officially dedicate the stamp and underscore the importance of this historic event.

008“It is so appropriate and so fitting for the United States Postal Service to issue this Forever stamp on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington,” said Lewis. “The march was one of the turning points in the on-going struggle for civil rights and social justice in America. In the years to come, when individuals use this stamp, they will be reminded of the distance we have come and the progress we have made as a nation. And they will be reminded of the civic duty of every American to stand up for what is right in our democracy.”

“It’s an honor to be here in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and dedicate a stamp that commemorates what Dr. King described as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation,” said Stroman. “The U.S. Postal Service takes pride in being able to recognize historic events by issuing these limited-edition stamps commemorating the ‘Best of America.’”

013Fifty years ago, on August 28, 1963, nearly a quarter of a million people came together in Washington, DC, to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was then that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his powerful “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.

USPS_Facebook_08.30_Stamps_v01The 1963 March on Washington stamp is the last of three stamps issued this year as part of a civil rights series commemorating courage, strength and equality in America. The first Forever stamp marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in January, while the second Forever stamp honored Rosa Parks on the 100th anniversary of her birth in February.

An inspiring word appears in large type in the selvage of each civil rights stamp pane:  “Freedom” on the Emancipation Proclamation stamp sheet. “Courage” on the Rosa Parks stamp sheet and “Equality on the 1963 March on Washington stamp sheet.

005Under the art direction of Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, Virginia, stamp artist Gregory Manchess of New York City depicts marchers against the background of the Washington Monument. Placards calling for equal rights and jobs for all—two principal themes of the march—are prominently displayed. Using broad strokes and painting with oils on gessoed illustration board, Manchess conveys an impressionistic effect of the historic occasion.

The 1963 March on Washington Forever® stamp is now available at, by calling (), and at Post Offices nationwide. Add it to your collection today!

1963 March on Washington 50th Anniversary Activities


This stamp was released in 2005. The 1963 March on Washington Forever® stamp will be revealed on Friday, August 23.

Are you traveling to Washington, D.C., this weekend for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington? Here’s our guide to events and exhibits to check out while you’re in town:

  • Of course, you’ll want to kick things off with the official unveiling of the 1963 March on Washington Forever® stamp. The event will take place Friday, August 23, at the Newseum. Festivities begin at 10:30 a.m., and are free and open to the public. Join us in live tweeting the event by using the hashtag #MyMarch. While you’re at the Newseum, check out the brand-new exhibits, “Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement” and “Civil Rights at 50” (on display through 2015).
  • On Saturday, August 24, head for the Lincoln Memorial to take part in the 50th anniversary march and rally along the 1963 route. The National Park Service expects about 150,000 people, so make sure you arrive early. The march will begin at the Lincoln Memorial at 8 a.m. It will then move south along Independence Avenue, stopping at the Martin Luther King Memorial before finishing at the Washington Monument. The rally will take place at the Lincoln Memorial from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Among the scheduled speakers is Rep. John Lewis, who also spoke at the 1963 march.


    This stamp was issued in 1999. (The name, likeness, signature and copyrighted words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., are used by permission of Intellectual Properties Management, Atlanta, Georgia, as exclusive licensor of the King Estate.)

  • Ready for some music? The Global Freedom Festival will take place from 2-7 p.m. Saturday on the National Mall. Performances will continue through Tuesday, August 27.
  • Wednesday, August 28, marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 march. Another march—this one called the March for Jobs and Justice—is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. at 600 New Jersey Avenue and proceed to the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Justice before ending with a rally on the National Mall.
  • Following the Wednesday march, President Obama will address the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He will be joined by former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

And don’t forget to before Friday. Take a stand for equality and be a part of history!