Borrowing from the St Augustine 400th Anniversary

When the St Augustine City Commission met in early session Monday afternoon, a suggestion was advanced that is reminiscent of a small recognition received from the Post Office Department during they city’s 400th anniversary in 1965.

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum chronicles a 5 cent first class postage stamp, whose “first day of issue” was August 28, 1965, and was available, hand cancelled, from the post office in St Augustine for collectors around the world.

The idea of a modified first class stamp, commemorating our 450th anniversary, would require approval on the federal level. Supporters believe that the federal 450th commission could make such a request move ahead in the approval process.

The 400th anniversary stamp, titled the “Settlement of Florida” stamp, is one in a series of collectable stamps cataloged in a post office publication titled, “Hispanic People and Events on U.S. Postage Stamps”.

The description of the stamp from the Smithsonian, “Florida was the first continuous Spanish settlement in the New World. Spanish admiral Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded St. Augustine, located on the northeast coast of Florida, in 1565. The settlement was named in honor of the saint whose feast occurred on the same day St. Augustine was established.”

Another stamp in the series, honoring the career of exploration led by Juan Ponce de León (1460-1521), was not issued until October 12, 1982. By that time, the first class postage stamp had a face value of 20 cents — today, it would be 44 cents.

The description of that stamp from the Smithsonian, “Royal orders to colonize new lands and to acquire additional sources of gold, combined with the desire to discover the legendary Fountain of Youth, led to his discovery of Florida in 1513.”

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News contributed photograph by National Postal Museum

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