The 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s initial landing in the “New World” provided Chicagoans with an occasion to reflect, to celebrate, and to memorialize the adventurous Italian navigator. Though financial and construction problems postponed the celebration for one year, in 1893 city leaders hosted a magnificent international exhibition to commemorate both Columbus and the nation’s progress over those four centuries—the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. In keeping with the exposition’s celebratory theme, the U.S. Post Office Department issued the nation’s first commemorative stamps, the “Columbians”.
Many of the people and places mentioned in Dan Brown's THE LOST SYMBOL appear on U.S. postage stamps. Without revealing Brown’s plot, this philatelic narrative showcases stamps that fall into this genre.
Postmaster General James A. Farley was not a stamp collector. But at the very beginning of the FDR administration, he was determined to further ingratiate himself with the “Boss,” as he called Roosevelt, by giving him unusual examples of new postal issues.
Congress has generally reserved free franking privileges for the Legislature. However, it has authorized exceptions from time-to-time. Examples of some of these exceptions appear on covers in this collection.
The world knows Simon Wiesenthal as a Holocaust survivor who tracked down Nazi war criminals for more than half a century. What many do not know is that he spent his evenings on a very different quest: searching for vintage postage stamps.
Maps and Their Elements
Allan Lee’s collection of maps on stamps represents thirty-four years of collecting passion. The intensive historical and cartographic research that he and his assistant, Wilfrid Webster, conducted took years to compile, document, and authenticate. Lee traveled to 110 countries and corresponded with their national libraries and archives in this pursuit.
And a Look Back at Past Recipients
To honor the recipients of the 2009 Nobel Prizes, the National Postal Museum has created this mini-exhibit to highlight the winners' achievements and look back on past recipients.
On September 23, 1846, Astronomer Johann Galle pinpointed the planet Neptune through a telescope at the Berlin Observatory in 1846. To celebrate this event, the National Postal Museum has created this mini-exhibit highlighting different postage stamps with connections to the Planet Neptune and the timeline of its discovery.
On September 16, 1620, the Mayflower set sail for the New World. In celebration of this historic event, the National Postal Museum has created this mini-exhibit highlighting different objects and postage stamps with connections to the Mayflower and the Pilgrims.
On October 21, 1959, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opened in New York City. The museum's building was designed by legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. To celebrate this event, the National Postal Museum has created this mini-exhibit highlighting different postage stamps with connections to the Guggenheim Museum and Frank Lloyd Wright.
On September 18, 1970, legendary musician Jimi Hendrix died. In celebration of Hendrix's life and music, the National Postal Museum has created this mini-exhibit highlighting different postage stamps with connections to Jimi Hendrix and the era in American history that he helped shape.
On December 2, 1942, the Manhattan Project’s team of scientists produced the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at the University of Chicago. To commemorate this important accomplishment, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum has created this mini-exhibit highlighting different objects with connections to this event.
On December 6, 1947, President Harry Truman dedicated the Everglades National Park in the state of Florida, protecting more than 2,000 square miles of wetlands and wildlife. In celebration of this event, the National Postal Museum has created this mini-exhibit showcasing the history and wildlife of one of America’s most unique treasures.
On November 22 1963, America's 35th President, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. To commemorate this tragic and pivotal event of the 20th century, the National Postal Museum has created this mini-exhibit highlighting different postage stamps with connections to President Kennedy's life and legacy.
On October 15, 1951, real life husband and wife Desi Arnaz and Lucile Ball first appeared as the fictional married couple Lucy and Ricky Ricardo on CBS's newest television show I Love Lucy. Nine seasons later, the two had cemented themselves in American television history forever.
On September 9, 1850, California was admitted to the Union as the 31st American state. In celebration of California's birthday, the National Postal Museum has created this mini-exhibit highlighting different objects and postage stamps with connections to the state of California.