The Marion, OH, Post Office recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first-day cover and the stamp-collecting activity it sparked.
First-day covers are envelopes with a stamp postmarked the day USPS released that stamp.
George W. Linn, the founder of Linn’s Stamp News, a publication for collectors, created the first-day cover idea for the 1923 stamp release depicting Marion native Warren G. Harding, who was president of the United States from 1921 until his death two years later.
The Marion Post Office processed about 5,000 first-day covers Sept. 1, 1923, according to Keith Etherington, the current postmaster.
“This is a surprising figure when one considers that cover collection was in its infancy,” he said.
A century later, Etherington presided over a reenactment of the 1923 event. Many of the participants wore costumes from that period.
He also issued a ceremonial cover cancellation for the 2023 event that will be displayed at the Marion County Historical Society.
“Collections of first-day covers is a greatly expanding branch of philately,” Etherington said.
“They provide a record of a historical event with a wide variety of cachets available,” he said, referring to the printed design added to an envelope to commemorate a special event.
“There is one to suit every collector’s taste,” Etherington said.