The 15-cent card honors the Okefenokee Swamp, a fertile wildlife and plant habitat in Georgia. Featured on the design is a great blue heron flying over the marshlands.
"Okefenokee" is an American Indian word meaning "Land of Trembling Earth." Aptly named, the Okefenokee is one of the largest and most primitive of wetlands in the United States. It covers more than 650 square miles and serves as the headwaters for the Suwannee and St. Marys rivers.
In 1937, President Roosevelt set aside the area as a National Wildlife Refuge. It is now home to more than 200 species of birds, 50 of reptiles, 40 of mammals and 32 of amphibians.
Other post cards in the America the Beautiful Series planned for this year include salutes to the Mountains, the Seashore and the Woodlands.
First-day cancellations are available in two methods. The deadline for either is April 16.
The Postal Service encourages customers to buy the card at their local post office and gives these requests preferential service. Self-address the cards and submit them for cancellation to: Customer-Provided Stationery, Postmaster, Okefenokee, GA 31501-9991. No remittance is required.
Those who prefer to buy the cards directly from the Postal Service should send, for each card desired, a self-addressed, pressure-sensitve label and a check or money order for 15 cents. Mail to: Wetlands Postal Card, Postmaster, Okefenokee, GA 31501-9992.
The next card in the America the Beautiful Series will honor the Mountains and feature a majestic Rocky Mountains scene. It will be issued in May in Denver.
Although the Mountains card will have the same format as others in the series, it will carry a denomination of 21 cents, which is the rate for post cards mailed to Canada. Other cards in the series are scheduled to carry the conventional 15-cent domestic post card rate.
In a more technical vein, a prephosphored (specially coated) version of the 25-cent Flag Over Yosemite coil stamp has been issued by the Postal Service. The coating makes the stamp's paper appear whiter and its colors brighter. It is being produced only in coils of 100 stamps.
First-day cancellations are available in two ways. Requests have an April 15 deadline.
You may buy the stamp at your local post office and affix to your own self-addressed envelope. Send it to: Customer-Affixed Envelopes, Flag Over Yosemite Prephosphored Stamp, Postmaster, Yosemite, CA 95389-9991. No remittance is required. The Postal Service encourages customers to use this method and gives these orders preferential service.
Collectors who want the Postal Service to affix the stamps should send a self-addressed envelope and payment of 25 cents per stamp in the form of a check or money order to: Flag Over Yosemite Prephosphored Stamp, Postmaster, Yosemite, CA 95389-9992.
Children's art is featured on a new set of five stamps issued by Togo, the former French colony in West Africa, to publicize its national stamp show, Exposition Philtogo. The designs were chosen through a contest held among Togo schoolchildren. The winners ranged in age from 8 to 12.
The 10-franc depicts villagers getting water from overland pipes. The 32-franc shows farmers working in the fields. The 70-franc illustrates a family in front of a tree. The 90-franc pictures two women preparing food. The 120-franc features an aerial view of fishermen with their boats.
Togo also issued a four-stamp set with a souvenir sheet as a tribute to its traditional costumes.
These stamps should be available at local stamp dealers.
Here's some advance news on upcoming U.S. commemoratives:
The 25-cent American Sports Series stamp honoring baseball great Lou Gehrig will be dedicated in Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The dedication is in conjunction with the Hall's 50th anniversary.
The Literary Arts stamp in tribute to Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway will be issued in Key West, Fla.