About USPS Commemorative and Social Awareness Stamps

Commemorative stamps are printed in a limited quantity and available for purchase for a limited time. The design may note an anniversary associated with an individual, an historic event, or a national landmark.

Social Awareness Stamps are part of the USPS's Commemorative Stamp program and are designed to promote awareness of important social concerns.

Each year, the USPS receives as many as 50,000 requests for commemorative stamp subjects! The USPS 2002 Stamp program includes 22 Commemorative Stamp subjects, of which two are social awareness stamps. Mentoring a Child which was issued in January, and the Spay/Neuter stamps which will be issued in September.

Some Helpful Terms:

  • Cacheted cover: a type of decoration on an envelope, tied in to the design of the stamp or a special event.
  • First day: the day on which a stamp is first officially sold by the Post Office.
  • First day ceremony program: a dedication ceremony held on the first day of issue
  • First day cover: a newly issued stamp affixed to an envelope and postmarked on the first day of sale at a city designated by the Postal Service.
  • First Day Objects (FDO): various non-philatelic objects to which a stamp and first day cancel was applied.
  • First day of issue (FDOI): the day on which a stamp is initially placed on sale by postal authorities.
  • First day of issue office: a post office authorized to sell a new postage item on the first day of sale.

Stamps and Stamp Collecting

To learn more about stamps and stamp collecting, visit some of the fascinating sites listed below:

The American Philatelic Society
American Stamp Dealers Association
American Topical Association
Dogs on Stamps
Junior Philatelists of America
Linn's Stamp News
National Stamp Dealers Association
National Postal Museum
Philatelic links for Children Stamp Collecting
Stamp Collector
Stamp News Magazines
USPS's StampsOnline
US Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Virtual Stamp Club

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