This Day in History… May 28, 2016

World Stamp Show 2016

US #5062-63 were issued on opening day.

On May 28, 2016, the doors opened on America’s 11th International Stamp Exhibition, World Stamp Show 2016.

From 1913 to 1956, New York City was home to America’s first five international stamp exhibitions. In 1966, Washington, DC, became the first city other than New York to host the exhibition, and after that, other cities would get their chance to host it. But after 60 years, the show returned to New York City in 2016.

US #5062 – First Day Cover with Digital Color Postmark.

The show opened on May 28, 2016, at the Jacob Javits Center. The opening ceremonies included the US Navy Color Guard presenting the colors and the singing of The Star Spangled Banner. The show coincided with New York’s 28th Fleet Week, giving a patriotic flair to the opening ceremony. US Naval commanders addressed the crowd, including Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, who spoke of his love of collecting stamps as well as baseball cards.

US #5063 – First Day Cover with Digital Color Postmark.

The ceremony also included an appearance by an actor dressed as Alexander Hamilton, who talked about his life and showed the crowd one of his most beloved stamps, US #1053. After that was a video from collector Stuart Weitzman, owner of the famed British Guiana 1¢ Magenta stamp, which was displayed at the show.

Item #M11431 – Guyana souvenir sheet telling the story of the British Guiana 1¢ Magenta stamp.

After a ceremonial ribbon cutting, the show officially began. Inside, there were almost 4,000 exhibits from societies, auctioneers, collectors, and post offices from six continents. The USPS had the largest booth at the show, which included a fun game show, a video game, and a photo booth.

Item #M11677 – Canada Star Trek uncut press sheet.

Several countries had First Day of Issue ceremonies. This included a neat joint-issue between the United Nations and Austria honoring US Peacekeepers.   And the Canada booth was entirely Star Trek themed, to promote their new stamp series honoring the beloved sci-fi franchise. John Lennon’s stamp collection was also on display by the National Postal Museum. Among the popular exhibits was Mystic’s own Black Honduras stamp, which is available for sale, as well as the Grinnell Missionaries.

Honduras #C12 – The world’s rarest airmail stamp! Click the image to read its fascinating story.

Once again, the Inverted Jenny was the talk of the show. When guests arrived at the convention center, they were greeted by an authentic 100-year-old Jenny biplane. They could take pictures with it and purchase special covers that would later be flown on the plane after it left the show. And on May 31, an Inverted Jenny sold for a record $1.75 million.

US #4806 – Inverted Jenny Souvenir Sheet.

And there was another Jenny at the show – a once lost inverted Jenny! The stamp was part of a block of four stolen from a Virginia stamp show in 1955. Over the years two of the stamps were discovered. In 2014, Mystic offered a $100,000 reward for the two missing stamps. Earlier in 2016, Keelin O’Neil, a young man in Northern Ireland found one of the missing stamps in a box of items from his grandfather. O’Neil came to the 2016 World Stamp Show to return the stamp and accept his reward in a special ceremony.

The USPS issued lots of stamps during the show. On opening day, they issued souvenir sheets of the previously released 2016 World Stamp Show stamps. On May 29, they issued a stamp honoring the 250th anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp Act. On May 30, Memorial Day, they issued the set of four Service Medal stamps. The next day they issued the Views of Our Planets and Pluto Explored stamps, and on June 1, they issued the Classics Forever sheet. They followed these with the set of 16 National Parks stamps and the set of 10 Colorful Celebrations stamps.

The show came to a close on June 4 and hosted an estimated 250,000 visitors in all.

Click here for more about the show from the official website.

Click here to see what else happened on This Day in History.

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