The U.S. Postal Service released its program for the next year amid much fanfare and publicity, but with little detail regarding specific designs. The general public, the philatelists in particular, are being teased with only a smattering of information about upcoming issues.

One of the highlights will be World Expo '89, the first stamp exhibition sponsored by the USPS. For this event there will be a new series consisting of stamps and stationery items. The exhibition will be held simultaneously with the Nov. 1989 meeting of the 20th Congress of the Universal Postal Union in Washington, D.C.The Expo issues will include a single stamp honoring the exhibition, plus two sets of four designs in different formats, each appearing as a block of four and as a sheetlet. A third sheetlet, several post cards, and an aerogram honoring Montgomery Blair are on tap for the UPU-related series.

Also on the agenda for 1989 will be a tribute to those famous old chugging steamboats. A commemorative booklet of five steamboat designs will feature the steam-powered ships that plied America's rivers and the Great Lakes during the nation's early expansion of settlement and industrial development.

Another stamp, the Black Heritage Series, will hail labor organizer A. Philip Randolph. Conductor Arturo Toscanini, maestro of philharmonic orchestras for many decades, will be spotlighted in the Performing Arts Series.

The Constitution Series will recognize the bicentennials of North Carolina, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Executive Branch, and the drafting of the Bill of Rights. The centennials of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington state will be duly observed.

A commemorative will honor America's letter carriers, while philanthropist Johns Hopkins will be seen on a Great Americans Series stamp. A joint issue with France will salute the French Revolution.

Of course, the annual Christmas adhesive and the continuing "love " series should prove popular again on the stamp parade.

The USPS has new postal cards honoring Georgetown's Healy Hall, the Land Run and Oklahoma Territory, plus new items in the America the Beautiful Series.

Some of these upcoming stamps have been previously mentioned, and more will be added to the varied and viable schedule. We'll keep you "posted" as to dates and first-day cancellation opportunities as they become available.

On the Summer Olympics stamp front, the West Indian island nation of Antigua and Barbuda has issued a set of four stamps.

The 40-cent depicts a male gymnast; the 60-cent shows a weightlifter lifting a set of barbells; the $1 illustrates a water polo match; and the $5 pictures two boxers in action. A $5 souvenir sheet shows a female track athlete running with the Olumpic torch to ignite the ceremonial flame that starts the Games.

The Marshall Islands, which has no athletes participating in the Olympics, has released its first Olumpic set. It features a strip of five vertical 15-cent stamps depicting a young Marshallese male in various stages of throwing the javelin. Another strip of five vertical 25-cent stamps pictures a Marshallese female athlete in a track event. Even though the Marshall Islands does not have a team, it calls these stamps a "Tribute to Future Olympians."

The Maldives, an archipelago of tiny islands and atolls in the Indian Ocean, hails the Olumpics with a set of four stamps.

The 15-laura shows a male athlete preparing to toss the discus; the 2-rufiya depicts two men in the 100-meter dash; the 4-rufiya illustrates two gymnastics events - the side horse vault and the rings; and the 12-rufiya features two equestrian competitors in the steeplechase event. A souvenir sheet of 20-rufiya denomination has a male tennis player making a backhand return.