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

February 29, 2016 08:00 AM

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.


Born Feb. 29: Dinah Shore

February 29, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


Born Feb. 28: Mary Lyon

February 28, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


Born Feb. 27: John Steinbeck

February 27, 2016 03:30 AM

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


Look for United States 1938 50¢ Howard Taft stamp

February 26, 2016 11:44 AM

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).


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

February 26, 2016 08:24 AM

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.


Born Feb. 26: Jackie Gleason

February 26, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


Issue dates assigned to six United States stamps

February 25, 2016 03:05 PM

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.


Obscene mail warning and the Flag Over Supreme Court counterfeit

February 25, 2016 11:38 AM

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.


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

February 25, 2016 11:24 AM

“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.


Born Feb. 25: Philip C. Habib

February 25, 2016 03:30 AM

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 discusses stamps in online interview

February 24, 2016 03:55 PM

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.


APS, APRL boards approve donor policy, strategic plan

February 24, 2016 07:30 AM

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.


Born Feb. 24: Honus Wagner

February 24, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


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

February 23, 2016 07:00 AM

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.


Born Feb. 23: Victor Fleming

February 23, 2016 03:30 AM

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 issue date announced

February 22, 2016 10:55 AM

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


Born Feb. 22: Edna St. Vincent Millay

February 22, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


Born Feb. 21: Barbara Jordan

February 21, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


USPS promises the moon with global forever stamp

February 20, 2016 05:00 AM

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.


Born Feb. 20: William Prescott

February 20, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


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

February 19, 2016 01:36 PM

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.

news gets a new face-lift

February 19, 2016 12:13 AM

If you are a frequent visitor to Linn’s website, 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.


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

February 19, 2016 10:35 AM

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

February 19, 2016 08:40 AM

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 first-day ceremony ticket information

February 18, 2016 10:30 AM

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.


A philatelic puzzle: who remembers S-D Day?

February 18, 2016 10:10 AM

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.


Naval covers as a byway of first-day cover collecting

February 18, 2016 09:57 AM

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.


Born Feb. 18: Octave Chanute

February 18, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


Society, museum to host postal history symposium

February 17, 2016 11:34 AM

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.


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

February 17, 2016 08:00 AM

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.


Born Feb. 17: Michael Jordan

February 17, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


Born Feb. 16: Edgar Bergen

February 16, 2016 03:30 AM

Mild-mannered ventriloquist Edgar Bergen found fame with his sharp-tongued cohort, the dapper dummy Charlie McCarthy, on radio and television, and in night clubs.


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

February 15, 2016 07:45 AM

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.


Born Feb. 15: Cyrus Hall McCormick

February 15, 2016 03:30 AM

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


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

February 14, 2016 08:45 PM

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.


Born Feb. 14: Richard Allen

February 14, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


Demise of ArtCraft first-day covers reflected various market challenges

February 13, 2016 07:00 AM

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.


Born Feb. 13: Chuck Yeager

February 13, 2016 03:30 AM

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 stamp to be issued Feb. 22 in panes of 10

February 12, 2016 09:30 AM

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.


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

February 12, 2016 06:45 AM

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.


Born Feb. 12: Omar N. Bradley

February 12, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


Mode of transport for 1934 ‘OWL Mail’ cover revealed

February 11, 2016 03:32 PM

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.


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

February 11, 2016 01:27 PM

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.


APS board nominates Stephen Reinhard to fill FIP vacancy

February 11, 2016 01:08 PM

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).


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

February 11, 2016 12:30 AM

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.


More stamps on TV’s Jeopardy!

February 11, 2016 09:45 AM

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


Linn’s new digital edition is vastly improved

February 11, 2016 08:58 AM

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.


Born Feb. 11: Josiah Willard Gibbs

February 11, 2016 03:30 AM

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.


Born Feb. 10: William Allen White

February 10, 2016 03:30 AM

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.
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