The new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery is the world’s largest stamp gallery. It is the only museum gallery to display stamps and postage in the backdrop of American history and culture; therefore, whether a casual visitor or a skilled collector, it is a complete philatelic experience and illustrates every postal role.
The most valuable rare stamps on display are:
• a cover postmarked on the moon in 1971;
• a watch worn by at sea postal clerk aboard Titanic;
• one of two 1868 1-cent Z-grill stamps in existence (with image of Benjamin Franklin);
• a letter addressed to John Hancock postmarked July 4, 1776;
• stamps depicting Royal family of Hawaii before it became a state;
• icon of Smithsonian’s stamp collection—the Inverted Jenny—will be on display
with other rare stamps from America and around the world.
On an exterior wall of windowpanes overlooking Massachusetts Avenue, there are 54 depictions of historic reproductions of U.S. stamps, a preview of the museum’s 12,000 square feet of exhibit space.
Grand-Opening Family activities are from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.:
• Make Your Own Stamp Collection—Visitors can select six free stamps from the museum’s bins of stamps from around the world to start their own stamp album.
• Stamp Design Contest— Everyone is urged to design a stamp. The first-place winner will receive a sheet of their own design printed as real U.S. postage stamps.
• Special Meet-and-Greet with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Tweety–Bugs, Daffy and Tweety are in costume. The Warner Bros. animated characters featured on U.S. postage stamps are available to pose for pictures.
• Medal of Honor Enshrinement— At 11 a.m, the National Postal Museum is accepting and enshrining a Medal of Honor for First Sgt. David McNerney, Viet Nam at the grand-opening ceremony in the National Stamp Salon exhibit.
• Correspondence Salon for Families—Creating and sending a special handmade card, all materials provided to decorate cards and envelopes. A special William H. Gross Stamp Gallery postmark with stamps and free postcards are available to mail.
• Meet Ben Franklin—Benjamin Franklin, first postmaster general, is at the museum in costume. Ben is available for photos with his role in the history of the post office.
• Scavenger Hunt—Take the scavenger hunt sheet to explore the museum and claim a prize.
Presenting six major topic areas, which are eye-catching displays with interactive moments to reveal how significant the historical stories are from the postal museum’s 20,000 objects gallery. There are hundreds of pullout frames of notable stamps, which have never been seen on public display.