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First Day Covers




Check out the new

"And the Envelope,

Please" lessons and the

Texas History lessons at


For the upcoming inservice

days, why not

have teachers create

their own first day

covers using the USS

Constitution stamp.

Directions to make a

"FDC" can be found in

the last newsletter.


You have 60 days from

the first day of issue

August 18. 2012 to mail

the envelope to the

Postmaster General,

Boston, MA 02205


For more information on

this and other upcoming

stamp issues,

Go to


Tx Flag Stamp


An envelope may be small,

but it is a huge

primary source


FDC Image Stamp



First Day Covers Celebrate Two Anniversaries



(click to enlarge)



(click to enlarge)


On August 18, 2012 in Boston, the U.S. Post Office will issue a stamp beginning a series commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The stamp depicts the USS Constitution, a frigate named by George Washington and launched in 1797. Though war was declared against Great Britain on June 18, 1812, it was the naval battle won by the USS Constitution in August that boosted American morale in this Second War for Independence. After defeating the HMS Guerriere, the USS Constitution was nicknamed "Old Ironsides."

This cover commemorates a special day, not a stamp issue. The Nathan Hale stamp was issued on May 25, 1929 and the Ben Franklin is the 4th Bureau's issue of the 1-cent stamp patterned after the original 1847 issue. What this cover does is to raise questions: Where and when was it postmarked? Why does the cancellation state, "last day in active service"? Was that true? Who were the U.S. Daughters of 1812? Does that National Society still exist? How does the painting prove that the nickname "Old Ironsides" was well deserved? Who was the first woman to enlist and serve on the USS Constitution? This envelope is a great example of how an image can start a classroom conversation with and among students.




(click to enlarge)


Also in 2012 is the 150th Anniversary of the Pacific Railway Act of 1862. An Act to aid in the Construction of a Railroad and Telegraph Line from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. . . .Before the Civil War, this was an issue that divided the Congress and the nation. Would the first transcontinental railroad be a northern or southern route? Seven years later, on May 10, 1869 in Ogden, Utah the final spike was driven connecting the rails laid by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad. The U.S. Post Office issued a stamp to honor the 75th anniversary of that union on May 10, 1944. Go to and download the Transcontinental lesson for free.