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New Stamps for September 1997

(Click the Links and Images to view Hi-Res Images of Stamps)

Princess Diana and Mother Teresa memorial issues will start to come out this month. See our related articles on the Front Page, leading into the Forum's Message Board, the only way to keep track of this ever-changing story.

The Arts is the dominant theme for U.S. stamps this month: Twelve of the 20 stamps coming out in September deal with music -- Opera Singers on the 10th at the Metropolitan Opera, Composers & Conductors on the 12th at the Cincinnati Music Hall.

Movie Monsters

At the end of the month, five stamps honor great movie monsters and the actors who created them: Lon Chaney as the Phantom of the Opera, Lon Chaney Jr. as The Wolfman, Bela Lugosi as Dracula, and Boris Karloff twice, as Frankenstein and the Mummy.

The 20th arts-related stamp is Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. There are many 19th Century fortifications maintained around the country as tourist sites. What makes this one special is that the ramparts o'er which the Star Spangled Banner was so gallantly streaming were those of Fort McHenry. Francis Scott Key wrote the poem after watching the battle as a "guest" aboard a British battleship in Baltimore Harbor. It was later set to music -- a British drinking song -- and it only became our official National Anthem in 1931.

Varela But Arts ain't all for the U.S. in September: The Postal Service also issues a 32c Hispanic Heritage stamp honoring early 19th Century social reformer and social worker Padre Felix Varela, an issue in which USPS Board of Governors chairman Tirso del Junco took a great interest.

Air Force Then off we go into the Wild Blue Yonder for the 50th anniversary of the Air Force as a separate military service; before 1947, it was the Army Air Corps. That's a national first day, with ceremonies planned at or near a number of Air Force Bases around the country.

New Zealand got a jump on even American retailers by issuing its Christmas stamps on the 3rd. The se-tenant set of six uses the words of the Christmas carol Te Harinui to commemorate one of the first Christmas services in New Zealand, in 1814. There is also a seventh, self-adhesive stamp.

The U.S. issued its dinosaurs in May; Australia weighs in with five stamps depicting Prehistoric Life.

Canada has two planned for late in the month: Two stamps commemorating the Canada-Russia Hockey Series -- Canada won, which may explain why we haven't heard of any stamps commemorating the Series from Russia -- and four Prominent Canadians stamps.

While the debate over a semi-postal stamp still lingers in the U.S., Finland issues a booklet for The Aino Sago. The extra charge benefits stamp collecting.

German Post And the same is true of one of the two German issues this month: The Postage Stamp Day stamp, showing historic postal transportation (a motorized mail cart and early mail planes), will benefit the Foundation for the Promotion of Philately and Postal History. Postage Stamp Day is the last Sunday of October, but the stamp's first day is September 17th.

The other German stamp marks 350 years of potato cultivation in Germany, as well as the rest of Europe. It was imported from South America by explorers.

Traditional vehicles are also the subject for Indonesia, and on the same date as Germany's Postage Stamp Day stamp, too. It also has a joint issue this month with Iran, subject unspecified.

France has seven issues this month: 5 more Marianne definitives, the artist Cesar, Basque Corsairs, the historic site Sable-sur-sarthe, Seafood Carriers, the Basilica of Saint-Maurice in Epinal, and the Artist Chardin. The last three are all issued on the 29th.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong hosts the World Bank/International Monetary Fund meetings, and is issuing four stamps to mark them.

Judaism's High Holy Days are late this year, not starting until early October, but Israel issues its annual Festivals stamps on September 23rd. The theme is The Visiting Patriarchs, and there are three: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Also from Israel on the 23rd: A sports definitive and a commemorative for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State. A fourth issue is a single stamp for Music & Dance.

Italy has five issues this month: the Bolzano and Milan Trade Fairs, the Viareggio Prize,Treasures of National Museums (four stamps), and Pope Paul VI's 100th anniversary.

The Netherlands kicked off the month with two stamps for "Trends," and Singapore calls on us to Protect Our Environment with four stamps. It's the 25th anniversary of its Ministry of the Environment.

Yugoslavia on the 10th issued five flower stamps.

Lloyd A. de Vries, Forum Manager

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