The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, in conjunction with the American Philatelic Society, the U.S. Postal Service and Stamp Camp USA will host a special Congressional stamp exhibit for all ages and a collaborative educational program for children July 24 – 26 at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
The museum will display philatelic items from the personal collections of U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and U.S. Representatives Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Robert Aderholt (R-AL), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Silvestre Reyes (D-TX). The exhibit is designed for collectors and non-collectors alike with unique philatelic material that has never before been seen by the public.
“Stamps are a great educational tool for learning about art, politics, geography, sports, history and entertainment,” said Philip LoPiccolo, government relations officer for the Smithsonian. “I am delighted that so many members of Congress participate in this incredible hobby and are sharing their enthusiasm for stamp collecting.”
Postage stamps, with their colorful images and real-life stories, have fascinated millions of adults and children over the years because they reflect something to interest everyone—nature, science, sports, music, etc. “Stamps connect us with our past, document our present and are a link to future generations,” said Ian Gibson-Smith, National Postal Museum Council of Philatelist member and architect of the exhibit. “Every subject, every ideology, every important event can be found immortalized in exquisite miniature detail.”
To introduce this hobby to non-collectors, Stamp Camp USA will host an activity station called “Stamp Collecting 101.” Activities and items for children will include a scavenger hunt, “eye-spy” game and a table where children can create their own mini-album page. This collaborative educational program for children ages 8 – 14 teaches stamp-collecting basics, including the proper care of a stamp collection and the use of cool stamp tools.
The Postal Service will lend its support by hosting a table to display current stamp-related products, literature and educational items for stamp enthusiasts of all ages. And to commemorate the event, pictorial postmarking will be conducted for guests who cherish collectibles. “It’s a pleasure to help demonstrate the unique role stamps play in our culture,” said Stephen Kearney, USPS stamp services executive director. “This exhibit showcases how stamps help tell our rich American story.”
Admission to the Congressional stamp exhibit and educational program for children is free. Registration for the children’s stamp camp is required. More information about the exhibit and registration information for the stamp camp are available at: postalmuseum.si.edu/congressionalstampexhibit.
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at postalmuseum.si.edu.
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