New Stamped Cards Format Sailing In Today

Great news, stamp fans! The previously issued Sailboat stamped cards are now available in packs of four!

The new format was issued earlier this morning at the American Topical Association’s National Topical Stamp Show in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

These 2012 Sailboat (Forever®) stamped cards highlight the scenic beauty of America’s waterways by featuring an oil painting of a moored sailboat. Artist Burton Silverman based the oil painting on a photograph he took during a summer sailing trip to Long Island Sound. Beautiful!

The 35-cent Sailboat stamped card is being issued at the Forever® postcard rate. It will always be equal to the value of the postcard rate in effect at the time of use.

War of 1812 Stamp Series Coming in August

Did you know that in August USPS will issue the first in a new series of stamps commemorating the War of 1812? The first stamp in the series features the oldest known painting of the most famous ship of the war, USS Constitution.

The painting, by Michele Felice Cornè, circa 1803, is considered to be the most accurate contemporary depiction of the ship, which acquired the nickname “Old Ironsides” during a victorious battle at the beginning of the war. In 2009, the majestic frigate, now docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Charlestown, Massachusetts, was officially designated as “America’s Ship of State.”

Although known as the War of 1812, the conflict with Great Britain—which began on this day—actually lasted two-and-a-half years! Many Americans at the time viewed the conflict as the nation’s “Second War of Independence.” Today, however, the War of 1812 is sometimes called “the forgotten conflict.”

Yet much about the war is notable, including the stunning successes of Old Ironsides, the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813, the burning of the White House in August 1814, the defense of Fort McHenry the following month (which inspired Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner”), and Andrew Jackson’s lopsided victory over the British at New Orleans in January 1815. Although the young republic barely escaped defeat, disunion, and bankruptcy, it survived the conflict and in the crucible of war forged a national identity.

The first stamp in the War of 1812 series will be issued August 18 at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, Massachusetts. The original painting used for the stamp will be on display at the event. Visit the USS Constitution Museum for more information about the ceremony, which is free and open to the public. To read more about the stamp, visit Beyond the Perf.

U.S. Merchant Marine Ships Keep the Rudders of Commerce Turning

Since colonial times, America’s merchant ships have plied the oceans and other navigable waters conveying goods and passengers. During wartime, they have also helped deliver troops and war materials. This role was formalized shortly before World War II, when legislation empowered the “U.S. Merchant Marine” to serve as a naval auxiliary unit. During World War II, the U.S. Merchant Marine bore the brunt of delivering military supplies overseas to U.S. forces and allies.

Clipper ships, ushered in by the California Gold Rush of 1849 and noted for their streamlined shape and majestic cloud of square-rigged sails, set numerous speed records for their time.

Auxiliary steamships—steam-powered ships with back-up sailing rigs—were the ocean liners of their day, competing in the 1850s with clipper and other sailing ships for transatlantic mail and passenger service.
During World War II, the United States built more than 2,700 Liberty ships, plain but sturdy cargo vessels that sustained the Allied forces with a steady supply of food and war material.
Container ships, pioneered in the 1950s, are the lifeblood of today’s global economy, carrying nearly all the world’s manufactured goods across the oceans and exemplifying the modern merchant marine.
The vital role the men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine play has a huge impact on all of our lives, though we may not realize it. Today, the Merchant Marines continue to help meet the nation’s security needs while also transporting commodities that sustain the American economy.
The U.S. Merchant Marine stamps were issued in 2011 as Forever® stamps and are still available for purchase!