Postal Service Issues NATO Birthday Commemorative Stamp
By Rudi Williams
National Guard Bureau
WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 1999 A U.S. postage stamp honoring NATO's 50th anniversary is now on sale at post offices throughout the United States and at military post offices worldwide.
First-day issue ceremonies were held Oct. 13 at the military post office at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The postal facility is operated by Detachment 6, U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
The stamp honors the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty agreement on April 4, 1949, in Washington. The treaty established a mutual defense alliance of 12 nations. Between 1952 and 1982, four additional European nations acceded to the treaty. On March 12, 1999, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO, bringing the number of member nations to 19.
Designed by Michael Corinne of San Francisco, the 33-cent stamp symbolizes the strength of NATO, the fragility of peace, and hope for the future, postal officials said. The first U.S. commemorative stamp honoring NATO, on its third anniversary, was a three-cent stamp issued April 4, 1952.
Stamp collectors worldwide can obtain first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail provided their requests are postmarked by Nov. 12. Normal process is to buy and affix the stamp to return-addressed envelopes, insert those into a larger envelope and mail the package to U.S. Postal Service Stamp Fulfillment Services at:
NATO Commemorative Stamp
PO Box 219400
Kansas City, MO 64121-9400.
After applying the free first-day postmark, the Postal Service delivers the individual envelopes to the addressees.
The Stamp Fulfillment Service also sells first-day covers and postal stationery items with the official first-day postmark. Item have individual catalog numbers and are offered in the free quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, available on request by writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014.
The stamp and catalog also can be ordered by calling 1-800-STAMP24.
For more information on stamps or to see an image of the NATO stamp, visit the Postal Service Web site.