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USPS releases new Forever stamp commemorating the invention of air mail

The United States Postal Service is marking the 100th anniversary of the dawn of air mail by releasing a new commemorative Forever stamp celebrating the courage of the first airmail carriers and the foresight of those who created the service and made it successful.

The first-day-of-issue ceremony for the blue United States Air Mail Forever stamp took place Monday at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

“The stamp we’re here to celebrate is a beautiful reminder of the imprint of United States Air Mail on today’s world,” said U.S. Postal Service Vice President of Supply Management Susan Brownell, who dedicated the stamps.

Tuesday marks the actual anniversary of the first day of airmail service, the USPS says.

Brownell spoke of how this groundbreaking service is credited with establishing the foundation for America’s modern-day aviation industry.

“The Wright brothers opened this country’s eyes to what could be possible,” she added. “Fifteen years later, with the first airmail flights, the Post Office helped turn that possibility into reality.”

On May 15, 1918, in the midst of World War I, a small group of Army pilots delivered mail along a route that linked Washington, Philadelphia, and New York City — initiating the world’s first regularly scheduled airmail service.

The United States Post Office Department, the predecessor to the U.S. Postal Service, took charge of U.S. Air Mail service later that summer, operating it from Aug. 12, 1918, through Sept. 1, 1927. Airmail delivery, daily except Sundays, became part of the fabric of the American economy and spurred the growth of the nation’s aviation industry.

 

The United States Air Mail stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp that will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one ounce price.