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Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

1993: Stamps And Stamp Collecting

Archives consist of articles that originally appeared in Collier's Year Book (for events of 1997 and earlier) or as monthly updates in Encarta Yearbook (for events of 1998 and later). Because they were published shortly after events occurred, they reflect the information available at that time. Cross references refer to Archive articles of the same year.

1993: Stamps And Stamp Collecting

Public interest in the U.S. 29-cent Elvis Presley commemorative stamp issued in 1993 was unprecedented. A number of other 1993 commemoratives were designed to appeal to people who had not previously participated in stamp collecting.

Souvenir Issues.

In the grandest philatelic event of the year, throngs of Elvis fans far outnumbered postal officials and stamp collectors at the midnight dedication ceremony held for his stamp at Graceland Mansion in Memphis, TN, on January 8. Stamps of similar design, inscribed 'Elvis Presley' instead of 'Elvis,' were issued in June in both booklet and sheet formats as part of a seven-stamp set honoring rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues musicians. The Legends of American Music series continued with sets of stamps commemorating Broadway musicals and country music.

Stamp collectors welcomed these series but were disappointed when the U.S. Postal Service withdrew support from its youth program, the Benjamin Franklin Stamp Clubs, and drastically cut back on National Stamp Collecting Month activities, which had been held every October since 1981.

Other U.S. Issues.

The third annual World War II miniature sheet commemorated events of 1943. Percy Lavon Julian, pioneer chemist, appeared on the annual Black Heritage stamp, and another stamp featured boxing champion Joe Louis. Topical issues pictured garden flowers, African violets, sports horses, circus scenes, youth literature classics, and space fantasies. A new $2.90 priority-mail stamp depicted a space vehicle. A 29-cent Thomas Jefferson stamp added a new design to the Great Americans series, which was in its 14th year.

The July 30 grand opening of the National Postal Museum in the Washington, DC, Old Post Office building was accompanied by a set of related commemorative stamps. The United States and Monaco issued matching Grace Kelly stamps in March, costing 29 cents and 5 francs, respectively; both were engraved by the world's most esteemed stamp designer, Czeslaw Slania. Other U.S. commemoratives honored former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, the World University Games, and the anniversaries of several significant events in American history.

Public service stamps called attention to communication by the hearing impaired through sign language, and a stamp encouraging AIDS awareness was issued in December.

Colorful self-adhesive stamps pictured a red squirrel, a rose, an eagle, and a pinecone. A 1993 Christmas stamp featuring a snowman was also issued in the self-adhesive format. Designs on postal cards commemorated the new Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, the Washington (DC) National Cathedral, Fort Recovery, OH, and historic buildings on several university campuses. A stamped envelope pictured a kitten.

Around the World.

After the partition of Czechoslovakia in January, Slovakia and the Czech Republic became the first new stamp-issuing countries of 1993. Several of the new republics that emerged from the former Soviet Union also issued stamps in 1993.

In April, Poland and Israel issued matching stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of the uprising against the Nazis in the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw. Polska '93, the first international stamp show in any of the former Communist countries, was held at Poznan, Poland, in May.

The Stamp Market.

Sponsors of major stamp shows in the United States had to scale back their plans as subsidies from the Postal Service were withdrawn. Even so, stamp prices advanced modestly for the first time in several years.

Two world-famous stamp collections, both of them owned by Japanese millionaires, were sold at auction in 1993. In October, Ryohei Ishikawa's collection of U.S. stamps, which included some of the rarest and most desirable 19th-century philatelic classics, brought a record $9.5 million. A single lot, an envelope mailed in 1851 from Montreal to England via New York, was sold for $717,500, the highest price ever paid for an item of U.S. postal history. Hiroyuki Kanai's collection of Mauritius postage items, often described as the world's most valuable single-country collection, was sold in November. It included the largest number of 1847 'Post Office Mauritius' error stamps ever assembled by one collector.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

1994: Stamps And Stamp Collecting

Archives consist of articles that originally appeared in Collier's Year Book (for events of 1997 and earlier) or as monthly updates in Encarta Yearbook (for events of 1998 and later). Because they were published shortly after events occurred, they reflect the information available at that time. Cross references refer to Archive articles of the same year.

1994: Stamps And Stamp Collecting

A blunder by the U.S. Postal Service kept stamps in the news throughout 1994. A pane of stamps commemorating 'Legends of the West' purported to include African-American cowboy and rodeo star Bill Pickett, but it actually depicted one of his brothers or cousins. At the urging of Pickett's descendants, Postmaster General Marvin Runyon decided to correct the mistake and to destroy the stamps that contained the mistake. The date of issue was postponed from March to October.

Before the error stamps could be destroyed, post offices in different parts of the United States had sold more than 100 sheets of them. Meanwhile, Runyon came under pressure from Congress not to waste the money that the reprinting would cost. As a compromise, he decided to place 150,000 of the error panes on sale by mail order on a first-come, first-served basis, on October 1.

Two major stamp dealers sued in federal court, asking that the Postal Service be required to sell unlimited quantities of the error. A group of collectors who had purchased panes before the problem was recognized sued to prevent any further distribution. Both suits were dismissed, and the error panes were distributed as planned.

The fourth annual World War II miniature sheet commemorated events of 1944. Educator Allison Davis appeared on the annual Black Heritage stamp. Souvenir sheets and companion stamps commemorated the 25th anniversary of the first man on the Moon, the World Cup soccer tournament, and artist Norman Rockwell. Single commemorative stamps honored Buffalo Soldiers (all-black Army regiments that helped tame the American West after the Civil War), Edward R. Murrow, George Meany, James Thurber, and Virginia Apgar. Sets of stamps saluted silent screen stars and popular, blues, and jazz singers. Topical issues pictured locomotives, winter Olympic sports, summer garden flowers, sea creatures, and Christmas motifs.

Engraved $1 and $5 stamps reproduced unused designs of the 1869 pictorial issue on the 125th anniversary of that set, and a souvenir sheet observed the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's postage stamp centennial by reproducing the $2 stamp of 1894. Postal cards pictured Abraham Lincoln's Illinois home, Myers Hall at Wittenberg University in Ohio, and Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona. A stamped envelope pictured a football.

Several new stamp products were introduced as the Postal Service announced a goal of $1 billion in annual philatelic sales. Keith A. Wagner retired as executive director of the American Philatelic Society, the largest stamp hobby organization. He was succeeded by Robert E. Lamb, former U.S. ambassador to Cyprus.

The Palestinian National Authority became a new stamp-issuing entity in 1994. An Israeli stamp commemorated the Palestinian peace accord. China and the United States issued matching stamps featuring species of cranes. The opening of the Channel Tunnel was celebrated on a joint stamp issue of France and Great Britain. More than 600,000 collectors attended an international stamp exhibition in Seoul, South Korea, in August. No legendary classic stamps appeared on the auction market in 1994, but prices continued to advance modestly.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

1995: Stamps And Stamp Collecting

Archives consist of articles that originally appeared in Collier's Year Book (for events of 1997 and earlier) or as monthly updates in Encarta Yearbook (for events of 1998 and later). Because they were published shortly after events occurred, they reflect the information available at that time. Cross references refer to Archive articles of the same year.

1995: Stamps And Stamp Collecting

The U.S. Postal Service began 1995 with a January 1 increase in the cost of mailing a first-class letter, to 32 cents, and similar hikes in other domestic postal rates. Nondenominated 'G' stamps and postal stationery had been put on sale in December 1994 to meet contingency requirements.

Among new U.S. stamps in 1995, a 20-stamp pane of Civil War commemorative stamps and matching postal cards was dedicated at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. A 20-stamp Comic Strip Classics pane kicked off October as Stamp Collecting Month.

A 32-cent memorial stamp honored President Richard Nixon, and another featured actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. Additional issues commemorated Florida and Texas statehood anniversaries, the independence of Palau, the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, and women's suffrage. Topical stamps depicted jazz musicians, children's drawings, carousel horses, and recreational sports.

Subjects on self-adhesive stamps included the American flag, a pink rose, an angel, peaches and pears, and Christmas holiday season themes. Regular lick-and-stick booklet stamps repeated some of those designs, plus blue jays, Great Lakes lighthouses, and fall garden flowers.

The Transportation series of single-color coil stamps ended with two final stamps, ferryboat and cog Railway designs. Three new series of multicolor coil stamps were unveiled: American Scenes, American Culture, and American Transportation. New stamps in regular sheet format pictured philanthropist Milton Hershey, suffragist Alice Paul, and medical pioneer Alice Hamilton. The annual Black Heritage stamp honored aviator Bessie Coleman.

Postal cards pictured a red barn, a soaring eagle, and a clipper ship. Stamped envelope motifs included the Liberty Bell, a spiral heart, an eagle, a sheep, and a repeat of a popular favorite, a space hologram.

The 1995 miniature sheet commemorating the 50th anniversary of World War II, last in an annual series of five ten-stamp sets, evoked controversy when it was unveiled. The Japanese government protested a stamp design that depicted the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. At President Bill Clinton's request it was replaced by a stamp picturing President Harry Truman.

Another controversy erupted over the traditional Christmas stamp that reproduced a classic Madonna and child painting. When the Postal Service announced at the end of 1994 that no Madonna would be included in the 1995 holiday stamp program, a protest by newspaper columnists and from the U.S. Congress caused Postmaster General Marvin Runyon to reverse his earlier decision and to issue a Madonna stamp.

The Council of Philatelic Organizations, which promoted the hobby of stamp collecting, decided in May to disband following the withdrawal of U.S. Postal Service financial support, which was committed instead to promoting stamp shows cosponsored by the American Philatelic Society and the American Stamp Dealers Association.

Canada matched the United States with a set of five comic-strip hero stamps. Australia and China jointly issued a set of endangered species stamps. Nearly every country commemorated the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. Stamps of Germany and Israel focused on the liberation of prisoners from Nazi concentration camps.

In stamp market news, the Honolulu Advertiser collection of classic rare Hawaiian stamps and postal history was consigned to auction after Congress failed to appropriate $8 million for its purchase by the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum. The Hawaiian stamp collection fetched $9.8 million in November.

A rare pair of three-cent stamps of 1911, known in hobbyists' lore as the Orangeburg coil (after the New York town where the stamps were used), was discovered at Boys Town, Nebraska, among a group of inexpensive stamps. It was expected to be consigned to auction to support charitable work at the Boys Town school and home for underprivileged children.



Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

1996: Stamps And Stamp Collecting

Archives consist of articles that originally appeared in Collier's Year Book (for events of 1997 and earlier) or as monthly updates in Encarta Yearbook (for events of 1998 and later). Because they were published shortly after events occurred, they reflect the information available at that time. Cross references refer to Archive articles of the same year.

1996: Stamps And Stamp Collecting

In 1996, for the first time, two international stamp exhibitions were held in North America during the same year. From June 8 to 16, 36,000 collectors attended Capex 96 in Toronto, Canada. Commemorative stamps issued during the show featured Canadian transport vehicles and Klondike gold miners. From July 19 to August 3, Olymphilex 96 in Atlanta drew 60,000 members of the public, most of them new to the hobby, to displays of sports-related philately during the Summer Olympic Games. To celebrate the occasion, the United States issued a 32-cent discus thrower stamp.

The weekly Stamp Collector was acquired by Krause Publications of Iola, WI, in December 1995. The following summer the weekly Stamps merged with Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News, the oldest stamp hobby paper in the United States.

Public demand for pressure-sensitive, self-adhesive stamps soared in the United States. More than 30 billion were produced in 1996, up from 8.8 billion in 1995 and 2.8 billion in 1994. Bulk-mail, postcard-rate, and commemorative stamps were issued as self-sticks for the first time.

Following the Unabomber mail-bomb investigation, there were changes in U.S. postal regulations 'until further notice.' Certain mail franked with stamps and weighing 16 ounces or more was to be handed to post office clerks, not dropped in street mailboxes.

The rare pair of three-cent stamps of 1911, known in hobbyists' lore as the Orangeburg coil, which had been discovered in 1995 at Boys Town, NE, was returned to its owner, who had donated the wrong stamps to Father Flanagan's Boys Home by mistake.

Among new U.S. stamps a 20-stamp Legends of Hollywood pane featured actor James Dean. A Georgia O'Keeffe painting of a flower was reproduced on the 15 stamps of a pane that honored her. A set of five 32-cent stamps pictured American Indian dances. Other issues commemorated Utah and Tennessee statehood anniversaries, Fulbright scholarships, writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, pioneers of communication, the Smithsonian Institution, marathon races, rural free delivery, and breast cancer awareness. Jacqueline Cochran, the first woman to fly beyond the speed of sound, appeared on a 50-cent Pioneers of Aviation airmail stamp. Topical stamps depicted prehistoric animals, endangered species, folk heroes, riverboats, big-band leaders, songwriters, computer technology, cycling, and winter garden flowers. The United States issued a Hanukkah stamp for the first time, as a joint issue with Israel. New stamps in regular sheet format pictured a red-headed woodpecker and the humanitarian Cal Farley, benefactor of needy children. The annual Black Heritage stamp honored biologist Ernest E. Just.

Canada issued its first Walt Disney subject set, a block of four Winnie the Pooh stamps that kicked off Stamp Collecting Month in October. Many countries (including the United States) issued stamps to commemorate the Olympic centennial.

The legendary Treskilling Banco (unique yellow error of Sweden's 3-skilling banco stamp of 1855) sold for a record $2.27 million at auction in Switzerland on November. It was displayed among the Aristocrats of Philately at the Anphilex stamp exhibition, November 28 to December 2, commemorating the Collectors Club of New York centennial. A highlight of the New York auction year was the May 30 sale of the Lawrence S. Fisher collection of classic United States first day covers and earliest known usages, by Shreves Philatelic Galleries, Inc.

A quantity of 32-cent 1995 Richard Nixon memorial stamps with an inverted inscription provoked a media sensation in early 1996, although experts were skeptical of their legitimacy; 141 were sold at auction for $800,000. In December an employee of the printing firm that manufactured the stamps was arrested on federal charges of stealing spoiled waste intended for destruction and selling it as error stamp material.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

1997: Stamps And Stamp Collecting

Archives consist of articles that originally appeared in Collier's Year Book (for events of 1997 and earlier) or as monthly updates in Encarta Yearbook (for events of 1998 and later). Because they were published shortly after events occurred, they reflect the information available at that time. Cross references refer to Archive articles of the same year.

1997: Stamps And Stamp Collecting

In 1997, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first U.S. postage stamp, the Pacific 97 world philatelic exhibition was held in San Francisco from May 29 to June 9. Despite a record official attendance of 168,400, it became the first international stamp show to post a deficit, leaving the future of such exhibitions in doubt.

At the American Philatelic Society's annual convention in Milwaukee on August 21-24, John M. Hotchner of Virginia, a U.S. State Department official, took office as president of the 55,000-member society. Alan Berkun exhibited 'The Aristocrats of United States First Day Covers,' a million-dollar collection of rare items that had never before been on public display.

U.S. special delivery service, which had begun in 1885, ended officially on June 8, having been supplanted by express mail. A 1997 act of Congress required the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to issue the first-ever U.S. 'semipostal' stamp in 1998, dedicating a portion of the more-than-face-value sale price to support breast cancer research.

The first U.S. triangular stamps, featuring stagecoach and ship designs, promoted Pacific 97. Souvenir sheets of 50-cent Franklin and 60-cent Washington stamps commemorating the issues of 1847 were sold during the exhibition, but sales fell far short of USPS expectations. So-called linerless self-stick stamps, dispensed like tape, were tested in 1997. New forms of security printing to thwart counterfeiting included a microprinted 'USPS' pattern instead of shaded lines and dots on the 32-cent Padre Felix Varela stamp, and hidden designs that could be seen only through a special decoder device on the 32-cent U.S. Air Force 50th anniversary commemorative and on the Classic Movie Monsters pane.

A single imperforate Bugs Bunny stamp in a self-adhesive pane became an instant rarity. The first U.S. regional postage stamps since 1929 featured legendary football coaches and were sold individually only in their home states: the Vince Lombardi stamp in Wisconsin, George Halas in Illinois, Paul ('Bear') Bryant in Alabama, and Pop Warner in Pennsylvania (the stamps were issued nationally as a block of four).

Among other U.S. issues, Raul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust, was honored on a stamp. A 20-stamp Legends of Hollywood pane featured actor Humphrey Bogart. The annual Black Heritage stamp honored General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

A stamp of Israel honoring the U.S. inventor Thomas Edison provoked controversy over Edison's alleged anti-Semitism. As Britain relinquished its Far East colony, both British colonial and Chinese stamps for Hong Kong soared in popularity. Many countries issued memorial stamps for Diana, Princess of Wales, after her death in late August. A legal agreement with the Beatles' marketing agency gave the International Collectors Society limited but exclusive rights to sell several countries' John Lennon commemorative stamps.

The September 5 Shreves Auction Galleries sale of the Joseph Agris gold medal collection of United States coil stamps established a new record price for a 20th-century cover — $220,000. Auction realizations for classic U.S. first day covers remained strong.



Clarence Robie, a former employee of the firm that printed the 1995 32-cent Richard Nixon memorial stamp, was convicted of theft of public money and interstate transportation of stolen property; he had taken misprints of the stamp from spoiled waste intended for destruction and had sold them to stamp dealers as rare errors.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.



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