• united-states-leap-day-covers-2000-portland-oregon-raleigh-north-carolina
    Feb 29, 2016, 08:00 AM

    A brief celebration of covers postmarked on Leap Day, Feb. 29

    In anticipation of this day that usually comes around once every four years, I pulled my Leap Day folder from my filing cabinet of modern U.S. postal history. Inside were about a dozen or so covers, with Leap Day postmarks spanning roughly 120 years.

  • dinah-shore-early-tv-memories
    Feb 29, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 29: Dinah Shore

    Multi-talented entertainer Dinah Shore (1916-1994) found success as a singer, actress and television personality for more than five decades, and was welcomed into America's homes as the host of The Dinah Shore Show.

  • mary-lyon-great-americans
    Feb 28, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 28: Mary Lyon

    Mary Lyon was a leader in women's education, and was instrumental in founding Mount Holyoke College, Wheaton College in Massachusetts, and the Ipswich Female Seminary.

  • john-steinbeck-literary-arts
    Feb 27, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 27: John Steinbeck

    American author John Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962. His many books include Of Mice and Men, and Grapes of Wrath.

  • stamp-market-tips-united-states-howard-taft-presidential-series
    Feb 26, 2016, 11:44 AM

    Look for United States 1938 50¢ Howard Taft stamp

    The only man in the history of the United States to serve both as president and as a justice on the Supreme Court was William Howard Taft (1857-1930). Taft was the 27th president of the United States (1909-1913) and the 10th chief justice of the Supreme Court (1921-1930).

  • modern-us-mail-presorted-mail-labels
    Feb 26, 2016, 08:24 AM

    Understanding pressure-sensitive package labels on presorted mail, part 1

    In my last column, I mentioned the new book I am researching and writing. One of the topics in the book is the history of the process of presorting mail to enable more efficient delivery. Starting Aug. 1, 1974, a series of pressure-sensitive package labels (PSPL) was introduced that made this sorting more effective.

  • jackie-gleason-early-tv-memories
    Feb 26, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 26: Jackie Gleason

    Multi-talented entertainer Jackie Gleason was at ease on television, in movies, and even in the recording studio. He led the comedy ensemble cast of The Honeymooners and hosted his own variety shows.

  • us-2016-soda-fountain-favorites-bg
    Feb 25, 2016, 15:05 PM

    Issue dates assigned to six United States stamps

    Dates have been revealed for six U.S. stamp issues, including four that will be placed on sale during the American Stamp Dealers Association's Fall Postage Stamp Show.

  • us-stamp-notes-obscene-mail-slogan-cancel
    Feb 25, 2016, 11:38 AM

    Obscene mail warning and the Flag Over Supreme Court counterfeit

    Today’s mail lacks the character of the olden days, when an array of slogan cancellations graced each day’s incoming mail. Now it’s computer-printed facts about the origin and date of the mail. An example of the old-style cancellation is shown nearby: “Report Obscene Mail to Your Postmaster.” This cancellation is graphically cropped from a letter to a female college student in 1950.

  • us-stamp-notes-march-cartoon-contest
    Feb 25, 2016, 11:24 AM

    Put yourself in George Washington's cloak: March cartoon caption contest

    “Washington at Prayer” is how the Scott catalog describes the design of the 1928 2¢ stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of Washington’s encampment at Valley Forge, Pa. (Scott 645). I would posit that such an image would likely be ineligible for picturing on a U.S. stamp today; unless the U.S. Postal Service was willing to risk lawsuits.

  • philip-habib-distinguished-american-diplomats
    Feb 25, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 25: Philip C. Habib

    Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Feb. 25, 1920, Philip C. Habib is known as one of America's most successful diplomats, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1982.

  • lawrence-block-hit-me
    Feb 24, 2016, 15:55 PM

    Lawrence Block discusses stamps in online interview

    Lawrence Block, an acclaimed mystery writer and former Linn's Stamp News columnist, speaks with Oregon Live about Keller, the stamp collecting contract killer who has been featured in five books.

  • linns-2015-us-stamp-popularity-poll-online-voting
    Feb 24, 2016, 08:00 AM

    Online voting open for 2015 U.S. stamp popularity poll

    Online voting is available for Linn's 2015 U.S. stamp popularity poll. In 2015, the United States Postal Service issued 100 face-different stamps and postal stationery items. It was the smallest annual total since the 60 produced by the USPS in 1990. However, the year’s count rises to 162 when it includes imperforates — stamps without die cuts — from uncut press sheets of conventionally issued stamps, which the USPS offers for sale on a limited basis at face value.

  • aps-aprl-donations-plicy
    Feb 24, 2016, 07:30 AM

    APS, APRL boards approve donor policy, strategic plan

    During a Feb. 23 telephone meeting, the board of the American Philatelic Research Library approved a new policy regarding the distribution of financial gifts, and also approved the five-year strategic plan recently accepted by the American Philatelic Society board.

  • honus-wagner-legends-of-baseball
    Feb 24, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 24: Honus Wagner

    The son of German immigrants, Honus Wagner joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1900 and led the team to a World Series championship in 1909. He also claimed eight National League batting titles.

  • united-states-2016-flag-pane-banknote-corporation
    Feb 23, 2016, 07:00 AM

    Item numbers assigned for 2016 Flag stamps in booklet, panes, and coils

    The United States Postal Service has created individual item numbers for ordering each of the five varieties of the Flag forever stamp issued Jan. 29. The stamp is offered in two different coils of 100 stamps, two different double-sided panes (foldable booklets) of 20 stamps, and one booklet of 10 stamps in a single pane.

  • wizard-of-oz-victor-fleming
    Feb 23, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 23: Victor Fleming

    The director of The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind was a California native born Feb. 23, 1889. Victor Fleming won an Oscar as best director for Gone With the Wind.

  • indiana-statehood-commemorative-stamp
    Feb 22, 2016, 10:55 AM

    Indiana Statehood issue date announced

    A forever stamp marking the 200th anniversary of Indiana statehood will be issued June 7 at the state capitol.

  • edna-st-vincent-millay-american-poet
    Feb 22, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 22: Edna St. Vincent Millay

    American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, which she did in 1923. She was also a playwright, and completed the libretto for an opera.

  • barbara-jordan-black-heritage-commemorative
    Feb 21, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 21: Barbara Jordan

    In her three terms as a U.S. Congresswoman, Barbara Jordan was a member of the House Judiciary Committee and sought to strengthen civil rights protections.

  • united-states-moon-global-forever-stamp-panes-of-10
    Feb 20, 2016, 05:00 AM

    USPS promises the moon with global forever stamp

    The newest round global forever stamp from the United States Postal Service pictures Earth’s moon. Features of the lunar surface are easily seen in the detailed image created from an existing photograph by Beth Swanson. The stamp and pane selvage were designed by Greg Breeding. William J. Gicker was the USPS art director for this issue.

  • william-prescott-surrender-burgoyne
    Feb 20, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 20: William Prescott

    Col. William Prescott led troops during the 1775 Battle of Bunker's Hill, and was also involved at the 1777 Battle of Saratoga in New York.

  • united-states-2016-pears-coil-stamp-artist-john-burgoyne
    Feb 19, 2016, 13:36 PM

    U.S. 5¢ Grapes coil issued with just one day’s notice

    United States Postal Service representatives mentioned last August that a new 5¢ Grapes stamp would be issued in 2016. However, it wasn’t until Feb. 18 that the issue date was revealed: Feb. 19. No first-day ceremony is planned. Kansas City, Mo., is designated as the official city of issue.

  • editors-insights-linns-website-redesign-face-lift
    Feb 19, 2016, 12:13 PM

    Linns.com gets a new face-lift

    If you are a frequent visitor to Linn’s website Linns.com, you might have noticed improvements in early February. We’ve given the website an updated, user-friendly look to make content more accessible to you, our readers. We start out with a fresh, modern color scheme with a pleasing-to-the-eyes font, or typeface, for the text and headlines.

  • Feb 19, 2016, 10:35 AM

    Tip of the week: Dalley’s Magical Pain Extractor revenue stamp

    Match and medicine revenue stamps (known formally as private die proprietary stamps) remain one of the most active segments of the U.S. stamp market. The Revenue Act of 1862 was enacted to help pay for the cost of fighting the Civil War. It levied taxes on the sale of matches, patent medicines, perfumes, playing cards, and other items.

  • upright-jenny-sale-sezak-catalog
    Feb 19, 2016, 08:40 AM

    Upright Jenny Invert pane of six sells for $59,205 in Maine auction

    Waterville, Maine, bookseller Robert Sezak auctioned his pane of the upright $2 Jenny Invert stamp through James D. Julia Auctioneers. A high bid of $50,000 won the lot.

  • sarah-vaughan-music-icons-stamp
    Feb 18, 2016, 10:30 AM

    Sarah Vaughan first-day ceremony ticket information

    Admission to the March 29 Sarah Vaughan forever stamp first-day ceremony in Newark, N.J., requires a ticket. Tickets can be reserved in person or by phone.

  • us-stamp-notes-s-d-day-cover
    Feb 18, 2016, 10:10 AM

    A philatelic puzzle: who remembers S-D Day?

    A label affixed to the postcard shown nearby reads “Remember S-D Day December 1.” Nothing on the card indicates what S-D Day is. It was sent from Melbourne, Fla., to Owega, N.Y., franked with a 2¢ Jefferson stamp. It is postmarked Nov. 15, 1955.

  • us-stamp-notes-iowa-statehood-centennial-uss-iowa-cover
    Feb 18, 2016, 09:57 AM

    Naval covers as a byway of first-day cover collecting

    First-day cover collecting certainly has many byways, and I like to go back to it every so often because it is one of my roots in the stamp hobby.

  • octave-chanute-airmail-stamp
    Feb 18, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 18: Octave Chanute

    French-born aviation pioneer Octave Chanute designed and built early gliders for manned flight, and was a friend and advisor to the Wright Brothers during their successful efforts to achieve controlled and powered human flight in an airplane.

  • spellman-museum-mobile-post-office-symposium
    Feb 17, 2016, 11:34 AM

    Society, museum to host postal history symposium

    The Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History and the Mobile Post Office Society will present a symposium on surface transportation of mail in the 20th century.

  • us-stamp-notes-trade-cards-shepard-norwell-boston-advertisment
    Feb 17, 2016, 08:00 AM

    Trade cards picture 19th-century U.S. stamps

    As a fan of 19th-century trade cards that depict United States stamps, I’m pleased to share two examples of what appear at first glance to be the same card. The cards have the same margin design and show the same four stamps from the definitive series of 1870-71. However, they are not the same.

  • michael-jordan-st-vincent-stamp
    Feb 17, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 17: Michael Jordan

    Michael Jordan's extraordinary basketball career included six championship seasons with the Chicago Bulls. He is now the majority owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets.

  • stamp-market-tips-united-states-botanical-art-imperforate-uncut-press-sheet
    Feb 15, 2016, 07:45 AM

    Botanical Art no-die-cut press sheet bringing multiples of face value

    On Jan. 29, the United States Postal Service issued 10 nondenominated (49¢) Botanical Art stamps in panes of 10 and double-sided panes of 20. It also produced uncut press sheets of this issue, both with and without die cuts, which sold at face value for $78.40.

  • cyrus-mccormick-famous-americans-stamp
    Feb 15, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 15: Cyrus Hall McCormick

    Cyrus McCormick, an American inventor instrumental in the development of the mechanical reaper, established a company that later became International Harvester (now Navistar).

  • valentine-station-loveland-colorado-postmark
    Feb 14, 2016, 20:45 PM

    Loveland’s Valentine remailing program celebrates 70 years: Linn’s Buzz

    According to a United States Postal Service press release, more than 150,000 cards and letters were handled last year by the Valentines. Those items came from senders who wanted their mail to carry the signuture Valentine's Day themed stamp of Loveland.

  • richard-allen-black-heritage
    Feb 14, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 14: Richard Allen

    Richard Allen was an early civil rights leader and the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Born in Philadelphia, he obtained his freedom at age 23 and embarked on a career of religious leadership.

  • first-day-covers-artcraft-single-color-design
    Feb 13, 2016, 07:00 AM

    Demise of ArtCraft first-day covers reflected various market challenges

    The news that production of ArtCraft cacheted first-day covers was discontinued as of the end of 2015 is making waves throughout not only the FDC segment of philately but perhaps beyond.

  • chuck-yeager-supersonic-flight
    Feb 13, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 13: Chuck Yeager

    On Oct. 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager flew his Bell X-1 jet into the history books by becoming the first pilot to break the sound barrier. A stamp honoring his feat was issued 50 years later.

  • moon-global-forever-pane
    Feb 12, 2016, 09:30 AM

    Moon global forever stamp to be issued Feb. 22 in panes of 10

    The nondenominated ($1.20) Moon global forever stamp for international letter mail will be issued in panes of 10 on Feb. 22, according to the United States Postal Service.

  • united-states-no-die-cut-stamps-guidebook-review
    Feb 12, 2016, 06:45 AM

    Guidebook pulls together 2012-15 U.S. stamps from imperforate press sheets

    In 2012, the United States Postal Service began selling uncut press sheets of selected commemorative and definitive stamps that had no die cuts between the stamps. Imperforate stamps from these press sheets were initially footnoted (along with values) in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.

  • omar-bradley-distinguished-soldiers
    Feb 12, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 12: Omar N. Bradley

    Gen. Omar N. Bradley led the American forces during the 1944 D-Day invasion of Normandy, France. He would later serve as chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.

  • us-stamp-notes-1934-owl-mail-cover
    Feb 11, 2016, 15:32 PM

    Mode of transport for 1934 ‘OWL Mail’ cover revealed

    Thanks to the many Linn’s readers who wrote in with answers to the meaning of “OWL Mail” on the 1934 cover shown in the U.S. Stamp Notes column in the Sept. 14, 2015, issue of Linn’s. I had requested help from readers in decoding the meaning of the term.

  • postmark-pursuit-richard-nixon-yorba-linda-california
    Feb 11, 2016, 13:27 PM

    Yorba Linda postmark commemorates Richard Nixon, marks $1 coin release

    A March 1 postmark from Yorba Linda, Calif., commemorates Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the United States. The Richard Nixon postmark is being offered almost one month after the release of the Richard Nixon $1 coin, which was issued by the U.S. Mint on Feb. 3.

  • american-philatelic-society-stephen-reinhard-international-federation-of-philately-board
    Feb 11, 2016, 13:08 PM

    APS board nominates Stephen Reinhard to fill FIP vacancy

    Stephen Reinhard, the president of the American Philatelic Society, has been nominated by the APS board of directors to fill an upcoming vacancy on the board of directors of the International Federation of Philately (FIP).

  • year-of-the-monkey-first-day-ceremony-stamp-unveiling
    Feb 11, 2016, 12:30 PM

    Lion dance at Year of the Monkey first-day ceremony in Queens, N.Y.

    On a snowy morning in early February, I attended the United States Postal Service’s first-day-of-issue ceremony for the Year of the Monkey stamp in Queens, N.Y. This stamp is the ninth Lunar New Year issue in the second series (2008-2019) beautifully designed by Ethel Kessler featuring original art by Kam Mak.

  • booker-washington-jeopardy
    Feb 11, 2016, 09:45 AM

    More stamps on TV’s Jeopardy!

    The popular television game show Jeopardy! is featuring a stamp on two consecutive Monday episodes: Feb. 1 and Feb. 8.

  • linns-stamp-news-digital-edition-new-improved
    Feb 11, 2016, 08:58 AM

    Linn’s new digital edition is vastly improved

    On Feb. 2, Linn’s introduced its new, much improved digital edition. We already are receiving favorable comments from our subscribers. The digital version of Linn’s is powered by Olive Software Inc.

  • josiah-willard-gibbs-american-scientists
    Feb 11, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 11: Josiah Willard Gibbs

    American scientist Josiah Willard Gibbs was called "the greatest mind in American history" by Albert Einstein. Gibbs held the position of professor of mathematical physics at Yale.

  • william-allen-white-commemorative
    Feb 10, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 10: William Allen White

    A popular writer and Pulitzer Prize winner, William Allen White often promoted small town values in commentaries published in his Kansas newspaper, the Emporia Gazette.

  • william-henry-harrison-indiana-commemorative
    Feb 9, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 9: William Henry Harrison

    William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, was the first to die in office. His term was the shortest of any president in history.

  • james-dean-legends-of-hollywood
    Feb 8, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 8: James Dean

    Before his death in a car crash at age 24 in 1955, James Dean found fame starring in the films East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant.

  • duck-stamp-tight-crop
    Feb 7, 2016, 07:00 AM

    ‘The Million Dollar Duck’ a hit at Slamdance Film Festival: Linns Buzz

    Directed by Brian Golden Davis, The Million Dollar Duck profiles the highly competitive Federal Duck Stamp Contest, the only juried art competition run by the U.S. government.

  • eubie-blake-american-music
    Feb 7, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 7: Eubie Blake

    Eubie Blake entertained America throughout much of the 20th century, as a legend of ragtime and jazz music, and as a popular Broadway composer.

  • american-philatelic-society-five-year-strategic-plan-scott-english
    Feb 6, 2016, 15:00 PM

    APS board approves five-year strategic plan

    The plan, described in detail by APS Executive Director Scott English during the Jan. 28 APS board meeting in Atlanta, Ga., begins with a significant $10 million target.

  • president-ronald-reagan-commemorative
    Feb 6, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 6: Ronald Reagan

    The 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, was born Feb. 6, 1911. After a successful career as a film star, Reagan was elected governor of California in 1966.

  • us-stamp-notes-cartoon-contest-winner-january-2016
    Feb 5, 2016, 11:13 AM

    January cartoon caption winner has a ‘karat’ nose

    The Pinocchio effect energized many of the Linn’s readers who entered the January cartoon caption contest featuring the carrot-nosed snowman on the 1993 29¢ Christmas stamp (Scott 2793).

  • us-stamp-notes-lou-jacobs-professional-clown-photo
    Feb 5, 2016, 10:52 AM

    Clown Lou Jacobs inspiration for 5¢ American Circus stamp

    Cover collecting has many facets, and one of the ways that United States stamp collectors can dip into that well is to find covers from companies that relate to stamp issues.

  • Feb 5, 2016, 08:57 AM

    The case of the inverted and reversed 1¢ Washington coil stamp

    I enjoy “How did this happen?” questions from Linn’s readers. Sending in what looks to be a production flaw on a U.S. stamp, the reader sometimes seems to be asking, “Can I stump you with this?”

  • Feb 5, 2016, 08:00 AM

    How to spend $50 for a 10¢ stamp, courtesy of the USPS

    Collectors of coil stamps and plate-number coils will get sticker shock when they order the 2016 10¢ Red Pears definitive coil stamp issued by the United States Postal Service Jan. 17.

  • britain-prime-minister-robert-peel
    Feb 5, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 5: Robert Peel

    Born Feb. 5, 1788, Robert Peel would serve as prime minister of the United Kingdom on two occasions. He is featured on a 2014 stamp honoring 10 British prime ministers.

  • united-states-2016-flag-stamps-panes-banknote-corporation-of-america
    Feb 4, 2016, 09:11 AM

    USPS issued Flag stamps in multiple formats Jan. 29

    New United States nondenominated (49¢) Flag definitive (regular-issue) forever stamps were issued Jan. 29. Although no first-day ceremony was held, the stamps were officially issued in Washington, D.C. The stamps are offered in five different formats, resulting in what appear to be four major varieties.

  • tadeusz-kosciuszko-commemorative
    Feb 4, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 4: Tadeusz Kosciuszko

    A freedom fighter in America and in Poland, Tadeusz Kosciuszko has been honored by both countries for his many significant contributions.

  • tip-of-the-week-united-states-1893-dollar3-columbian-stamp
    Feb 3, 2016, 21:12 PM

    Tip of the week: United States 1893 $3 Columbian stamp

    Unused stamps in no-gum condition or stamps that have been regummed and are valued as having no gum can be a real bargain.

  • sidney-lanier-american-poet
    Feb 3, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 3: Sidney Lanier

    The third stamp in the U.S. American Poets commemorative series honored Sidney Lanier, who was born in Macon, Ga. Lanier was also a musician and Confederate Army veteran.

  • us-stamp-notes-expertize-washington-franklin-bluish-paper-postcard
    Feb 2, 2016, 08:00 AM

    Expertizing something that doesn’t exist

    Over the years, expertization certificates have been issued for color shades and paper varieties that later were deemed never to have really existed and were delisted by catalogs.

  • george-halas-legendary-football-coaches
    Feb 2, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 2: George Halas

    A 32¢ stamp honoring George Halas was issued in 1997 as part of a set of four stamps commemorating famous football coaches. Halas led the Chicago Bears through 40 seasons.

  • botanical-art-ceremony-program-variety
    Feb 1, 2016, 10:35 AM

    Seeded program distributed at first-day ceremony

    A special variety of the first-day program for the United States Botanical Art forever stamps was given to everyone attending the ceremony in Atlanta.

  • otd-0201-victor-herbert-bg
    Feb 1, 2016, 03:30 AM

    Born Feb. 1: Victor Herbert

    Victor Herbert made his mark as a musician, as a composer, and as the leader of some of America's prominent music ensembles. He was also a founder of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).