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Ovation: U.S. Postal Service Takes Pre-Orders For Harvey Milk Forever Stamp.

04/22/2014

HarveyMilkAs a youngster, I was an avid stamp collector.  If I remember correctly, my grandmother got my started with my first little cellophane envelope filled with post-marked stamps from around the world.  I may have ordered them from an advertisement found at the back of a comic book but I’m not certain.  I would pour through them for hours, studying them and sorting them by nation and then by value.  I had a book that I used to research the supposed value of the many different stamps and quickly learned to be on the lookout for the rarest and most valuable.  Anything with an upside-down airplane was always the focus of my mission.

I was quite the pre-teen philatelist!

Yesterday, the United States Postal Service officially revealed its Harvey Milk Forever Stamp.  Milk, a visionary leader who became an iconic figure in the struggle for gay civil rights, was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S. when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977.  His career was cut short when nearly a year later he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated.  Milk’s achievements gave hope and confidence to gay people at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and, in 2009, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded him the Medal of Freedom.

While the new stamp’s official first-day-of-issue ceremony won’t take place until May 22nd at the White House, customers can pre-order the stamps now.  A Forever Stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate and the image on this stamp is based on black and white photograph of Milk in front of his Castro Street Camera store in San Francisco taken by Daniel Nicoletta of Grants Pass, Oregon circa 1977.  Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, was art director for the stamp.

I still have several sheets of vintage postage stamps tucked away in a lockbox at home.  It’s doubtful that they’ll ever be of any value to anyone other than a future stamp collector but, as we venture further into the digital age and fewer people put ink to paper postage stamps themselves will eventually become historical relics.  Perhaps, then, my collection will one day become “museum quality”.

Have you ever collected stamps?

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4 Comments
  1. I have not, but I am proud that Milk is being acknowledged for his huge, gutsy contribution to our freedom. The movie with Sean Penn in the title role is a must see.

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  2. thedogs'mother permalink

    Bouncing around between Canada and the USA we always had stray stamps floating around and coins and spices marked in French.

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  3. I was a collector at the same age as you, and I still have all of them miraculously! I got a notion to try and go through them and catalogue them with current values about 3 years ago and then I realized it was much too big of a task. Perhaps soon though as my nest will finally be empty completely in the Fall!

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