Nominations for 2020 Ward Award

Nominations will be accepted through May 15 for the Philip H. Ward Award for Excellence in First Day Cover Literature, presented annually by the American First Day Cover Society. All works published in 2020 are eligible.

All articles published in First Days, the AFDCS journal, are automatically considered. Others may be submitted to the Ward Award Committee chair, Mark Goodson, 315 East Dewey Street, Ellettsville, IN 47429-1901, bgdsn@comcast.net, either as clippings or .pdf scans of the articles as published.

The Ward Award is presented each year at Americover, the annual convention of the AFDCS, which will be held August 12-15, 2021, as part of Great American Stamp Show in Rosemont, Ill. A complete list of past winners can be found at afdcs.org/ward.

Past works honored by the AFDCS reflect a wide variety of sources: Last year’s winner, "Which Items Franked with 1913 Parcel Post Stamps Are Authentic U.S. First Day Covers?” by Ken Lawrence was originally published in American Philatelist. The 2018 award was bestowed for a bibliographic series by David Zubatsky in First Days. The 2015 citation went to a book, Dorothy Knapp: Philately and Family, by Douglas Weisz.

The award is named in honor of Philip H. Ward (1890-1963), the distinguished Philadelphia stamp collector, dealer and journalist who was a pioneer in the field of first day covers. The award was instituted by the AFDCS in 1964.

2021 Show Is A Go!

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Today, the American Philatelic Society (APS) announced the kickoff for the Great American Stamp Show 2021. The show will take place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois from August 12-15, 2021. The APS, the American First Day Cover Society (AFDCS) and the American Topical Association (ATA) are joint sponsors of the show.

“We’ve waited patiently for some good news out of Illinois and Governor J.B. Pritzker delivered it last week,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society.

Visit our 2021 Show page for more information.

2021 Convention Update

The Great American Stamp Show is scheduled to be held August 12-15, 2021, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The American Philatelic Society, the AFDCS and the American Topical Association (ATA) are again co-sponsors of the show this year. Since 2018, the APS and ATA have jointly-sponsored the show, with the AFDCS joining in 2020. The partnership has been an overwhelming success. Although the pandemic forced us to cancel GASS in 2020, the APS, ATA, and AFDCS put together the Virtual Stamp Show.

Whether the pandemic will allow us to have an in-person show this year is still up in the air. For an update, visit our 2021 show page.

Super Bowl Streak Will Continue

Long-time AFDCS member Don Crisman will be in the stands for next weekend's Super Bowl, one of only two or three people who have attended every Super Bowl since the first. The 84-year-old Kennebunk, Maine resident (AFDCS #403) will be accompanied by his daughter, a medical technician who has been working COVID-19 vaccination clinics. They are shown in the photo below from the Portland Press-Herald. The Associated Press also ran a story, which AFDCS member Allison Cusick spotted in The Trib, a suburban Pittsburgh paper.

The Portland story is at at this link and requires a subscription, BUT if you click on "I'll watch a video" the full print story appears after the commercial for the paper.

He'll have to sit ten rows away from the other every-Super-Bowl fans.

Don is a past Executive Vice President of the AFDCS in the 1980s and was instrumental in having the Streetcars stamps (Sc. 2059-62) issued at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.

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Exhibiting Coordinator Named

Ronnei To Coordinate Exhibit Efforts for FDC Society

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The American First Day Cover Society has chosen Todd Ronnei, a gold-medal exhibitor himself, to coordinate its exhibiting programs and promote FDC exhibiting.

Ronnei was awarded the Reserve Grand and a Large Gold medal for his U.S. Winston Churchill (Sc. 1264) exhibit at the AFDCS's Americover 2018 and at Minnesota Stamp Expo in 2018. He has a number of other FDC exhibits, including the 1967 Urban Planning stamp (Sc. 1333) and 1970 Fort Snelling stamp (Sc. 1409), and is the Exhibit Chair for Minnesota Stamp Expo, a World Series of Philately show.

Ronnei and his family live in a Minneapolis suburb. He has been the AFDCS.org webmaster for a number of years and also served on its board of directors, five years as its chairman.

The AFDCS presents unique awards in special categories at its Americover shows, created by Kerry Heffner, and Randy Smith distributes a general AFDCS award to shows upon request. "Todd will pull together these efforts, while adding others and encouraging more FDC collectors to try their hand at exhibiting," said AFDCS president Lloyd A. de Vries.

The AFDCS, a 501(c)(3) educational not-for-profit organization, also recently reorganized its Education Department and is putting more emphasis on those programs. (See previous post below.)

New Education Chair Named

McIntosh To Lead AFDCS Educational Activities

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Kris McIntosh is the new chair of the Education Department of the American First Day Cover Society. The retired high school social studies teacher in Fort Worth, Texas, schools has already been demonstrating FDCs as teaching aids, both online and at social studies teachers' conventions. This new position will expand upon her advocacy of covers in education.

The department also includes youth activities, audio-visual programs, and online programming. Gary Denis, the previous Education Chair, continues as chair of the Publications Committee. The AFDCS earns its not-for-profit status as a 501(c)(3) organization for its educational activities.

As Education Chair, McIntosh will have a seat on the society's Executive Committee. She was also just elected, separately, to her first term on the AFDCS Board of Directors.

McIntosh lives in a recreational vehicle, and spends the year traveling through several western states. She is a member of the Fred Sawyer North Texas Chapter of the AFDCS, and collects and exhibits the 1936 Susan B. Anthony (Sc. 784) and the 1948 Progress of Women (Sc. 959) issues.

The AFDCS’s publications include handbooks, catalogues, directories, and its award-winning journal First Days. The society also produces some FDCs, advocates for first day cover collecting and exhibiting, and is a co-sponsor of the big national stamp collecting show each summer. The Great American Stamp Show is currently scheduled for August 12-15 in the Chicago area.

Lawrence Receives Writing Award

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Well-known philatelic writer Ken Lawrence has received the American First Day Cover Society's Philip H. Ward Award for excellence in writing about first day covers. His American Philatelist article, "Which Items Franked with 1913 Parcel Post Stamps Are Authentic U.S. First Day Covers?” in the August 2019 issue, was the unanimous choice of the judges for the 2019 calendar year.

The article also received the 2019 Barbara Mueller Award sponsored by the U.S. Stamp Society for the best article published that year in American Philatelist.

The first runner-up was Ralph Nafziger, for "Wisconsin Tercentenary Issue" in the May-June issue of First Days, the official journal of the AFDCS. Anthony Dewey was second runner-up, for "On the Trail of Grant and Lyon" in the March-April of First Days.

The award is named in honor of Philip H. Ward (1890-1963), the distinguished Philadelphia stamp collector, dealer and journalist who was a pioneer in the field of first day covers. The award was instituted by the AFDCS in 1964. All articles appearing in First Days are automatically considered for the award; articles in other publications may be submitted for consideration.

This is the third time Lawrence has received the Ward Award. In 1989, he was one of five authors contributing to a symposium on FDCs in The United States Specialist. He also was honored for his 1996 three-part series "First Day Covers in Earliest Usages," which also was published in American Philatelist. His monograph First Day Covers of 1918 Air Post Stamps — Or Are They? was published by the AFDCS in 2018, and is available for sale in the Marketplace/Handbooks section.

New Benefit: Member Connect

AFDCS Offers Members Free Online Collecting Interests Feature

The American First Day Cover Society is offering its members a way to find other members with similar collecting interests and to seek out wanted items.

With the new “Member Connect” benefit, members may submit their collecting interests in a secure area of the AFDCS.org website, accessible only to other members. There is no charge for the service. Commercial ads and cachetmaker ads are not permitted in Member Connect entries. (Separate ads on the website may be purchased.)

An individual’s Member Connect entry may include any topic of general philatelic or FDC interest, or can be used to seek specific items (such as "want ZIP block on FDC for Sc. 1306"). There is a limit of 25 words per listing, and one listing per member. Members can submit changes or delete their listings at any time.

Member Connect can be found in the Members Area of the website, accessed via the “Member Login” button on the homepage. AFDCS members who do not already have access to this area can request it by sending their names and membership numbers via email to webmaster@afdcs.org.

In that same area, members can download copies of First Days, a full-color magazine published six times a year by the AFDCS. More members only content is planned for the near future.

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