First Days Editor Named


The American First Day Cover Society has chosen Albert W. Starkweather to be editor of First Days, its official journal, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. He begins with the March-April 2015 issue.

Starkweather is also the editor of the Stamp Insider, the free online journal of the Federation of New York Philatelic Societies, Inc., and The Ceremonial, journal of the American Ceremony Program Society (AFDCS Chapter 58). He has developed and maintains four philatelic websites, for the Stamp Insider and three shows.

In addition to other philatelic publications, Starkweather’s credits include JAZZIZ magazine, a music publications, and the Hartford Courant.

“I’m pleased a veteran philatelic editor like Al is joining us,” said AFDCS President Lloyd de Vries. “I enjoyed working with him at Stamps magazine.”

First Days is published six times a year, and is available to AFDCS members both online and printed. Its regular features include “First Cachets Update,” “Question Box,” and “Cover Exchange,” free listings to facilitate trades, as well as feature articles.

Since the Editor is also an ex officio member of the AFDCS Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Publications Committee, Starkweather becomes a member of those bodies.

He succeeds Peter Martin, who resigned.

Peter Martin Resigns

Peter Martin of Fredericksburg, Va., has resigned as Editor of First Days, the official journal of the American First Day Cover Society, effective with the March-April 2015 issue.

”We appreciate Pete’s many years of service to the AFDCS, as well as the gold medals that First Days has won in literature competitions while he was Editor, “ president Lloyd de Vries said.

Since the Editor is also an ex officio member of the AFDCS Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Publications Committee, Martin is also leaving those bodies. In addition, he has resigned as chair of Americover 2015, the AFDCS’s annual convention and celebration of first day covers, which will be held August 14-16 in Columbus, Ohio.

“We expect to name an interim editor in the next few days,” said de Vries. “Pete leaves us in good shape on Americover, and other volunteers can continue work on the show.”

The American First Day Cover Society is the world's largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to the collecting of FDCs. Each issue of First Days is published in full color and includes articles, columns, Society business, a non-commercial Cover Exchange, and the best collection of FDC advertisements anywhere.

Scott 2419 FDC Catalogue


A second Moon Landing cachet catalog has landed.

The comprehensive review of first day covers for the $2.40 Moon Landing 20th anniversary stamp (Scott 2419) issued in 1989 was compiled by Victor Tan and David Zubatsky. At 220 pages and containing hundreds of color illustrations, this landmark work is the result of 25 years of collecting, research and study. Much of the information has never been published in a catalogue before.

It joins the newly-revised C76 (1969) catalogue published by the AFDCS last year.

The new 2419 catalogue covers more than just cachets. Among the many topics discussed are plate numbers found on first day covers, official and unofficial cancellations, printing errors and freaks found on first day covers, and, of course, cachet illustrations from A(dam) to Z(idek).

It is available as a .pdf download ($20 for members, $22 for non-members) or via regular mail as unbound printed pages ($26 and $28).


2015 Show Jury Named

Exhibits Jury Set for Americover 2015

Ken Trettin of Iowa will head the exhibits jury at Americover 2015, a World Series of Philately show that will be held Aug. 14-16 in Columbus, Ohio.

Trettin will be assisted by Janet Klug of Ohio, Kathy Johnson of Illinois, Mike Ley of Nebraska and Allison Cusick of Pennsylvania.

The prospectus is now available by clicking this link, by regular mail from Kerry Heffner, 17656 K Street, Omaha, NE 68135-3491, or e-mail at The deadline for entering the Americover 2015 exhibition is June 1, 2015, or whenever the 160 available frames fill up.

The emphasis at Americover is on First Day Cover exhibits, and about three-fourths of each exhibit should consist of FDCs and related material. All three divisions (Postal, Illustrated Mail and Display) of the General class of exhibits will be accepted, as well as One-Frame and Youth exhibits.

Trettin edited The American Revenuer for more than 35 years, and is current editor of the annual American Philatelic Congress Books. In addition to revenues, his expertise includes postal history and display division exhibiting.

Ley specializes in British Commonwealth, particularly in the stamps and postal history of Burma, as well as United States. He is exhibit chairman for the Omaha Stamp Show and secretary of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors.

Klug is chair of the U.S Postal Service’s Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee and a past president of the American Philatelic Society. Her judging expertise includes military postal history, first day covers, and display exhibits. She is currently working on a half dozen collections of FDCs, including the Ohio River Canalization and American Turners issues.

Johnson’s expertise is in the British Commonwealth area with a focus on Ceylon. She has exhibited first day covers of the Disabled American Veterans, Honoring U.S. Servicemen, and the American Pharmacy issues. She has served as president of the Junior Philatelists of America and treasurer of the APS.

Cusick has served as president of the American First Day Cover Society, was chairman of its expertizing committee and presently is a member of its Board. He collects and exhibits FDCs of the 1949 Edgar Allan Poe issue and contributed the FDC treatments to the sixth edition of the APS Manual of Philatelic Judging.

As a WSP show, the winner of the Grand Award at Americover 2015 will be part of the Champion of Champions competition at Stampshow 2016. Charles J. O’Brien III, winner of the 2014 Grand with "The Eagle Has Landed," will represent Americover this summer in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Americover 2015 Grand prize is again a crystal pyramid provided by the AFDCS’s Claude C. Ries Chapter.

In addition, if six or more competitive single-frame exhibits are entered, the Curtis B. Patterson Award recipient for the best single-frame exhibit will be invited to enter the APS Single-Frame Champion of Champions competition at AmeriStamp Expo in 2016.

Besides its Grand and Reserve Grand awards, Americover offers special awards from both the AFDCS and other philatelic societies, including ones for best exhibits of foreign FDCs, topical FDCs, pre-1931 FDCs, best exhibits by a novice and a youth, and best single-frame exhibit.

The three-day Americover 2015 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbus-Worthington, and there is a special Americover room rate of $99. There also will be two bourses (commercial dealers and cachetmakers), a banquet, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, live and silent auctions, seminars, a pre-show tour of the area, a post-show evening dinner event, and a U.S. first day ceremony. A forum by a postal official involved with first day covers is also on the schedule.

Unlike other WSP shows, Americover's exhibit awards are not presented at its banquet (which is held Friday night), but at the AFDCS Business Meeting Saturday morning.

© 2014 AFDCS Contact Us