Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Stamps & Covers
  1962 4¢ Project Mercury: 50 years and searching

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   1962 4¢ Project Mercury: 50 years and searching
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-20-2012 05:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Search continues for secret stamp honoring John Glenn's historic spaceflight

Fifty years ago Monday (Feb. 20), John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, relied on ground stations located across the planet to communicate with his control team. But after his Mercury spacecraft, Friendship 7, safely splashed down, it was another type of station that took over tracking his historic mission: U.S. post offices.

For the first and only time in the country's postal history, the United States Post Office Department — since 1971, the U.S. Postal Service — surprised the public with the release of a secret stamp celebrating Glenn's successful mission. The 4-cent "Project Mercury" postage stamp was revealed and immediately put on sale in 305 post offices within an hour of Glenn's triumphant return to Earth at 2:43 p.m. EST (1943 GMT) on Feb. 20, 1962.

Half a century later, collectors are still searching for those first-day-of-issue stamps.

Related previous discussion threads:

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-20-2012 01:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Beaumont Enterprise reports about first-hand experience with the stamps' release 50 years ago.
While Mercury astronaut John Glenn hurtled around his home planet three times on Feb. 20, 1962, Beaumont third-grader Billy Black, then 9 and a student at Sallie Curtis Elementary, stood in line at a post office to buy the brand-new Project Mercury postage stamps.

A picture in The Enterprise captured the smiling blond-ish boy with his mother, Inge, who had urged him to buy the stamps.

Fifty years later, William "Bill" Black, now a dentist for the Veterans Administration in Temple, still has that same sheet of stamps, kept in a safety deposit box.

DOX32
Member

Posts: 203
From: Fairfax, VA USA
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 02-21-2012 10:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DOX32   Click Here to Email DOX32     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, how many different postmarks do you have for Scott 1193? The secret stamps not sold until 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 20, 1962.

I have about 250 different, but a certain collector in New York is closest to getting all 305!

gnewt
New Member

Posts: 9
From: Brazil
Registered: Aug 2011

posted 02-22-2012 08:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gnewt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just came across this story today; the search for the stamp... Years ago, a kind gentleman at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum museum in Washington DC gave me one of these stamped, first-day covers. It is on a blank envelope, in perfect, mint condition and postmarked at exactly 3:30p.m. from Cape Canaveral. Great story; I truly had no idea...

Blackarrow
Member

Posts: 2024
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 02-23-2012 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a cover with the special 4c stamp, post-marked "3.30pm, 20th February 1962" at Cape Canaveral and signed by John Glenn. I imagine there must be hundreds (thousands?) of these, but what might it be worth (for insurance purposes: I have no intention of selling)?

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement