The 2008 Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposium jointly sponsored by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum and the American Philatelic Society was held in the museum's Blount conference room on September 26 and 27, 2008. It was the third annual national conference for academic scholars, philatelists, and industry experts for discussion of research into the
history of postal organizations and systems.
The theme for the 2008 Symposium was war and the mail, broadly interpreted to include everything related to defense and the postal system in all countries and eras.
Postal topics are usually framed in peaceful terms: mail “binds the nation together” by enabling commerce and encouraging technological development, while stamps are “works of art in miniature” or “little paper ambassadors” of national culture and achievement. Often overlooked is the fact that when a nation goes to war, its stamps and postal system are always an integral part of the mobilization—and the relief effort.