Patriotic Forever® Stamped Envelope Coming in 2013

Let the red, white, and blue fly with a new stamped envelope for 2013. If you’ve never used a stamped envelope before, it’s a handy invention consisting of an envelope with the stamp art printed right on the paper. Tuck a few in your briefcase or purse, and you’ll never be without a quick way to mail a letter!

FolkArtEagle-2013-Forever-envelope-TC-BGv1This stamped envelope features a photograph of a carved American eagle wall plaque. The carver is unknown, though the plaque is reminiscent of John H. Bellamy’s style. The eagle is carrying two United States flags and a shield. The original pine carving is 30 inches tall and 38 inches wide, and probably came from coastal New England. It is finished with red, white, and blue paint and appears to have the original gilding. This photograph was featured on the cover of The American Folk Art Collection of Sandy and Julie Palley (January 2002), an auction catalog.

The Folk Art Eagle envelope will be issued at the Forever® rate later this year. As with Forever® stamps, the value of the postage on Forever® stamped envelopes is always equal to the value of the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate. Stamped envelopes are available in three standard sizes: #10 regular and window, #9 regular and window, and #6-3/4 regular and window.

Old Glory Waves Year-round on New 2013 Stamps

Here’s your first look at A Flag for All Seasons, a set of four Forever® stamps that show Old Glory waving proudly throughout the year against a backdrop of trees. The stamps will be released later this year,

FlagsSeasons-2013-Forever-block4-BGv2The stamp art, gouache on illustration board, is the work of Laura Stutzman, who used personal photographs of the flag as art reference. The seasons are reflected in the colors of the leaves on the trees or, in the case of the flag in winter, the lack of leaves on the background trees. Stutzman’s previous project for USPS was the Flags 24/7 issuance in 2008.

That’s it for the 2013 stamp reveals for this week. We’ll pick up again next week!

Happy Veterans Day

This Veterans Day, the Postal Service is proud to honor all of our nation’s veterans and those men and women who continue to serve in the military.

President Woodrow Wilson established the first predecessor to Veterans Day—Armistice Day—in 1919, intending the day be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory.” Set on November 11, Armistice Day originally celebrated the signing of the armistice by Germany and the Allies that ended World War I—on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. But it wasn’t until 1938 that Congress passed an act making Armistice Day a federal holiday, set aside to honor veterans of WWI.

In 1954, after World War II—in which the armed forces deployed more than 16 million Americans to fight, 405,000 of which lost their lives—and the Korean War, Congress amended the 1938 act, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. November 11 then became a day to honor veterans of all wars. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a proclamation later that same year, stating, “in order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will join hands in the common purpose.” A decorated Army vet himself, Eisenhower understood the importance of recognizing the brave souls who dedicate their lives to protecting our country.

From 1971–1977, Veterans Day was held on the fourth Monday of October instead of November 11, much like the observance of Washington’s and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthdays, in an effort to grant more three-day weekends to Federal employees. After much public backlash, Veterans Day was officially moved back to November 11 in 1978—to the overwhelming support of state governments and veterans’ organizations.

Since 1978, Veterans Day has remained on its rightful day of observance, restoring the focus of the holiday back to remembering those lost in conflict, celebrating victory, and showing a nation’s gratitude to the people who help protect it.

We thank all veterans and military personnel for your brave service to our country and wish you all a happy Veterans Day.

Kate Smith Sings “God Bless America”

Celebrated singer and entertainer Kate Smith (1907–1986) was a radio and later television star best known for her rendition of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.”

Smith sang the song for the first time on The Kate Smith Hour on November 10, 1938, the eve of Armistice Day. “This is the greatest song Irving Berlin has ever composed,” she pronounced at the time. “It will never die—others will thrill to its beauty long after we are gone.”

During World War II, “God Bless America” drew standing ovations at Smith’s live concerts. She donated the proceeds from her performances of the song to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America.

Kate Smith™ CMG Worldwide, Indianapolis, IN.

Pixar & Owney Stamps Lead September Stamp Sales

The numbers are in, and, great news, Post Office stamp sales for September showed an increase over this time last year!

In fact, stamp sales in September 2011 increased more than 3.2 percent compared to those in September 2010. The top selling stamps were the Lady Liberty and U.S. Flag coil of 100, with 322 million stamps sold, and the Liberty Bell book stamps, with 213 million stamps sold.

Commemorative stamp revenue for the month comprised 9.2 percent of total sales, a half-point percent increase over the ratio reported for August.

Top commemorative sellers were:

Most best selling commemoratives, along with the month’s top selling stamps, reflect continuing customer interest in Americana, as well as patriotic and animal themes. Owney the Postal Dog is proving especially popular. Available since July 27th, the stamp honoring the mail train-riding pooch sold more than 11 million copies in its first month and more than 20 million stamps to date.

Disney/Pixar Materials: © Disney•Pixar