Search Continues for Secret Stamp Honoring John Glenn's Historic Spaceflight
by Robert Z. Pearlman, collectSPACE.com Editor
Date: 20 February 2012 Time: 08:02 AM ET
The 1962 4-cent "Project Mercury" stamp marked the first
time that the U.S. issued a previously unannounced commemorative stamp
at the same time as the event it was issued to honor: John Glenn’s
historic Friendship 7 spaceflight.
For the first and only time in the country's postal history, the United States Post Office Department — since 1971, the U.S. Postal Service — surprised the public with the release of a secret stamp celebrating Glenn's successful mission. The 4-cent "Project Mercury" postage stamp was revealed and immediately put on sale in 305 post offices within an hour of Glenn's triumphant return to Earth at 2:43 p.m. EST (1943 GMT) on Feb. 20, 1962.
Half a century later, collectors are still searching for those first-day-of-issue stamps.
Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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