Philatelic and Postal History Primer
Types of Collections - First Day Ceremony Programs
Introduction//Stamp Types//Collection Types//Getting Started//Associations

Types of Collections - First Day Ceremony Programs

First Day Ceremonies are held by the United States Postal Service to dedicate new stamp issues. They are held in the city where the stamp will be issued, (Official First Day City - in this case Pawtucket, Rhode Island). The First Day of Issue Ceremony Programs are produced by the United States Postal Service (USPS) in cooperation with the sponsoring organization of the event.  They contain details  of the ceremony, a list of the speakers and the background of the stamp issue. Most first day ceremonies are open to the public and are attended by postal officials, the stamp designer, relatives of the honoree, state and/or city officials, and guest speakers. The program depicted on the left is for the May 29, 1990 Rhode Island Bicentennial Statehood Issue, (Scott Nr. 2348).

The Illustrations at left, show the cover (front) page with the Rhode Island Statehouse; the (inside) second page with the list events, speakers and honored guests; and the third page with a first day cancel of the stamp and a short narrative history.

Most First Day Ceremonies are similar to the one described here in both their format and content.

Guest Speakers for the Rhode Island Bicentennial First Day Ceremony included: Providence Postmaster Wallace Kiddo; Pawtucket Mayor Brian J. Sarault; Gary G. Gray, President - Old Slater Mill Association; Robert Macieski, Curator - Slater Mill Historic Site; Dr. Patrick Conley, Chairman - RI Bicentennial Foundation; Samuel Slater (portrayed by Ed Shea); and Rhode Island Governor Edward D. DiPrete. 

Music for the event was provided by the Shea High School Jazz Ensemble and the National Anthem was sung by Belinda Lima. The Colors were presented by the Kentish Guards of the Rhode Island Militia.


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