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  Space Cover 223: One Small Step

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 223: One Small Step

Posts: 84
From: Ridgefield, CT USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 07-20-2013 11:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ChrisCalle   Click Here to Email ChrisCalle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 223 (July 20, 2013)

Space Cover 223: One Small Step

July 20, 2013 marks the 44th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

As many of you know my father, Paul Calle designed the iconic 1969 First Man on the Moon stamp, C76. The design of the stamp was carried out in secrecy by the US Post Office and the bureau of Engraving and Printing. It wasn't until July 9, 1969 that then Postmaster General Winton Blount announced that "Apollo 11 will mark America's first mail run to the Moon." He also revealed that the Apollo 11 crew would take with them to the Moon the engraved die that later would be used to make the stamp's printing plates, along with a special, "Moon Letter" bearing a die proof of the stamp which the astronauts would postmark on the Moon.

The letter was actually postmarked on the return journey as Michael Collins wrote in his book, Carrying the Fire. "Never mind that it is July 22, this is the first chance we have had to get to it. We try the cancellation out first, inking it and printing it in our flight plan three times until we get the hang of it, and then we apply it gingerly to the one and only envelope, which we understand the postmaster will put on tour."

The stamp design was no secret to me and my family, all we needed to do was go to my dad's studio to see the dozens of sketches and him working on the final design, an acrylic painting of Neil Armstrong making the first step by a human onto another planet.

The stamps cancel has not only the September 9 1969 Washington DC issue date but also a replica of the July 20 "MOON LANDING USA" date stamp that the Apollo 11 astronauts applied to the Moon letter in space. The stamp inspired great interest in the First Day Cover collecting community. Within weeks after the July 9th announcement about the not yet issued stamp the Post Office had received over 500,00 requests for First Day Covers.

In total the Post Office received an astronomical 8,743,070 requests for First Day Cover cancels. This is the issue that I enjoy collecting. Last week I even acquired a First Day cover I did not have and it even had the autograph of the stamp designer! Let's see your favorite C76 First Day Cover...


Posts: 935
From: South Bend, IN United States of America
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 07-21-2013 01:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your dad, and now you, are so very generous with your autographs to us space geek collectors, and even though I don't come close to writing to you enough, I an thrilled with every one of them that I have, every remembrance of meeting you BOTH on two very different occasions and the picture you posed with me at Ameripex!

Thank for sharing another story here. — Gene Bella


Posts: 204
From: Fairfax, VA USA
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 07-21-2013 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DOX32   Click Here to Email DOX32     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chris, thank you for the 44th alert. See you at APS Milwaukee.

Keep looking for those unusual C-76 covers, signed of course!!

Do you have one signed by your Dad "A" man type? — Woody


Posts: 1396
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 07-21-2013 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What an honor it is to have known your dad. Very cool info, thanks for sharing with us all.

Bob M

Posts: 1368
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-22-2013 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With over 8 million of the C76 Apollo 11 moon landing FDCs issued, they can be found easily, relatively cheaply, and can be quite useful and appropriate for autographs. As a new collector back in the 1970's, I used quite a few for autographs and here are two Artcraft FDCs, with one autographed by Kurt Debus and the other by Thomas Kelly, the Lunar Module Principal Design Engineer at Grumman.


Posts: 84
From: Ridgefield, CT USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 07-24-2013 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ChrisCalle   Click Here to Email ChrisCalle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These two covers are a couple of my favorites since they show all the US stamps related to the Moon Landing designed by my father and me.

1969 designed by Paul Calle, 1989 designed by Chris Calle and both 1994 stamps jointly designed by Paul and Chris Calle.

All times are CT (US)

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