FDC Newsletter Banner V3 I3


First Day Covers




Visual images can

hook students on



Use the images

found on a
first day cover to

start a classroom



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An envelope may be small,

but it is a huge

primary source


FDC Image Stamp



Looking for an "end of the year project" for your students?

Why not have students create their own first day cover using one of the two stamps being issued to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

One stamp depicts the Battle of New Orleans, which was marked on April 24, 1862 by the heroics of Flag Officer David G. Farragut, soon to become the U.S. Navy's first full admiral. It depicts Farragut's fleet passing Forts Jackson and St. Phillip on the way toward New Orleans. The second stamp depicts the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day of the war, September 17, 1862. It is a reproduction of an 1887 painting by Thure de Thulstrup.

Both stamps go on sale April 24, 2012.



(click to enlarge)

Supplies needed to make an FDC: one letter sized envelope and one stamp per student. The artwork, called a cachet (pronounced ka-SHAY). can be hand-drawn and colored, applied with a computer printer, photocopied, created using photographs or a collage of colored papers, or assembled by any creative method the maker can imagine. The cachet is usually placed on the left third of the envelope or it can fill up the entire envelope. The student needs to be aware of the placement of the stamp and the cancellation by the post office as well as their address label on the bottom right. The cancellation is approximately 3 1/2 inches long by 1 inch tall, and it is usually placed underneath the stamp, with just the top part of the cancellation covering the stamp. Before choosing a stamp, students will need time to research and sketch out ideas for both events. Why not use the who, what, where, when, why and how questions as the rubric for grading and to help guide students in creating their cachet.

Both Civil War stamps go on sale April 24, 2012. Once the stamp is affixed to the envelope and the cachet finished, be sure that students address the envelope to themselves. Place all the envelopes in one large manila folder and mail to:

Postmaster–FDC Cancellations PO Box 50336 NEW ORLEANS, LA 70150-0036

You have 60 days from the first day of sale to mail in the student-made FDC.


(click to enlarge)

Other upcoming stamp issues include the 200th anniversary of Louisiana statehood on April 30, and the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 on August 18. For the details go to: