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Hometowns Honor Their Returning Veterans stamp, 1995

Find resources related to the military on the National Postal Museum's website.

an addressed V-Mail envelope
"Mail Call" For decades, that precious announcement has lifted the spirits of millions of military personnel.
April 6, 2017 - December 2, 2018

Through personal correspondence written on the frontlines and home front, this centennial exhibition uncovers the history of America’s involvement in World War I. The compelling selection of letters illuminates emotions and thoughts engendered by the war that brought America onto the world stage; raised complex questions about gender, race and ethnic relations; and ushered in the modern era. Included are previously unpublished letters by General John Pershing, the general who led the American Expeditionary Forces and a person who understood the power of the medium. In his postwar letter that begins “My fellow soldiers,” he recognized each individual under his command for bravery and service. My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I was created by the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in collaboration with the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University.

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American Military History Through Stamps (1775-1913)
This virtual exhibition showcases major events in American military history from the start of the American Revolution through the Spanish-American War.

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Related Blogs

Write that Letter Home, Part I: Senders, Recipients, and the Content of World War I Correspondence

The National Postal Museum is pleased to share part one of a three-part blog series by historian and philatelic genealogist James R. Miller.

Join the Navy: Yeoman (F) Ruth (Woodworth) Creveling

Eighteen-year-old Ruth Estelle Woodworth joined the US Navy on March 30, 1917, the same month the military opened enlistment to women for the first time. It was all possible because of an unintentional loophole in the Naval Reserve Act of 1916. The act authorized the enlistment of qualified “persons,” but did not specify any gender requirement for volunteers.

A Century Old Modern Romance

While working on the In Her Words: Women’s Duty and Service in World War I exhibition, I read many documents belonging to the four featured women. None quite resonated with me as much as the diary of Army nurse Lulu Belle (Wolfe) Smith.

YMCA Work During the Great War

Morale is one of the main factors that can help or cripple an army. Thus when the US joined World War I, the YMCA set out to work alongside the US Army to keep up morale - feeding soldiers, providing comfortable spaces for them, and otherwise keeping them entertained.