Jul 08

Stanford Indians & Bay Area Ohlone Indians

By: Miriam S Thurston

Original decal of the Stanford Indian

Original decal of the Stanford Indian

At the 2013 PENPEX Stamp Show I displayed a 24 page topical exhibit titled: Native American Indians on Stamps/Postcards/Cachets/Souvenir Sheets. This article is based on one of the pages of the exhibit which features a Native American tribe of the Bay Area and the sensitivity of a local university to their culture. That school, Stanford, is located in Palo Alto on the San Francisco Peninsula just three miles south of the Sequoia Stamp Club of Redwood City.

From 1930 until 1972, Stanford’s sports teams had been known as the Indians, and, during the period from 1951 to 1972, Prince Lightfoot was the official mascot. But in 1972, Native American students and staff members successfully lobbied to abolish the “Indian” name along with what they had come to perceive as an offensive and demeaning mascot.

Post Card of Stanford Chapel

Post Card of Stanford Chapel

Stanford’s team name is now the “Cardinal,” referring to the vivid red color (not the common song bird as at several other schools). Stanford has no official mascot, but the “Tree”, a member of the Stanford Band wearing a self-designed tree costume, appears at major Stanford sports events.

Stanford University was built on land originally inhabited by the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. From the Stanford Chapel located at the center of the campus begins the main road which becomes University Avenue and stretches about a mile going through downtown Palo Alto and continuing on to the east end of the town to the bay shore near the Dumbarton Bridge. The construction boom that took place in the post-World War II years had resulted in the destruction of many Ohlone/Costanoan sites in the Bay Area. In the early 1950s a housing development was under construction called “University Village” in this area of East Palo Alto. Students from the Stanford Archeology Department determined that the area contained ancient California Indian artifacts such as pottery, arrow heads, tools, and bones that were more than 10,000 years old, and they were able to halt the construction. For a period of time, these artifacts were exhibited at the Stanford Museum.

Ohlone Indians in a Tule Boat in the San Francisco Bay 1822

Ohlone Indians in a Tule Boat in the San Francisco Bay 1822 (from Wikimedia.org.)

From the 1950s to the 1970s, Stanford anthropology organized digs in connection with many campus building projects, such as the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Students excavated some 600 Muwekma-Ohlone graves, storing the remains and artifacts in boxes at the Stanford Museum. In 1988, a University committee agreed to respect the tribe’s spiritual beliefs and rebury the bones already stored at the Stanford Museum. Now, whenever an Indian skeleton is found in the process of a dig, it is left in place. As for the artifacts, the University plans to mount exhibitions of the more interesting finds. That way, everyone will have a chance to glimpse the old Ohlone way of life.

Jun 30

July 2014 eBlast

Contracts have now been sent to our PENPEX 2014 dealers and by the end of July, PENPEX will list on the website what dealers will be attending. I have also gotten confirmation from the Redwood City Acting Postmaster, that they will be staffing the USPS table at the show. The show will also have two show cancels for Saturday and Sunday.

PENPEX is also working on becoming 501c3 non-profit organization. The by-laws have been rewritten and will be voted on at the next PENPEX All Committee meeting on Tuesday, July 22 at 6:15 pm at the RC Community Activities Building.

Included in this monthly PENPEX eBlast are the upcoming Sequoia Stamp Club activities and bay area stamp shows. Guests are always welcome. Below is the 2014 schedule at a glimpse, covering the next two months:

  • Jul 8 – Governing Board mtg – 6 pm. (open to the public)
    7:05 pm Members Live Auction.
  • Jul 11-13: ASDA Northern California Postage Stamp Show, Westin Hotel, Millbrae.
  • Jul 22 – PENPEX All Committee Meeting – 6:15 pm
    7:05 pm Prison in Paradise by Ed Rodriguez. Silent auction.
  • Aug 12 – Philatelic Quiz. Silent auction.
  • Aug 19 – Annual SSC picnic – 5:00 pm at the CAB.
  • Aug 26 – Live Auction – Inglis.

Download the July 2014 Chatter, our quarterly newsletter.

Jun 18

50 Years Ago: Amateur Radio Operators Stamp #1260

5 cent amateur radio stampFifty years ago, the U.S. Postal Office published the 5¢ Amateur Radio stamp, Scott #1260. At the time the stamp honored the 250,00 amateur radio operators in America. It was issued on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the American Radio Relay League, it pictures a radio broadcast wave and radio dial, color lilac.

The first day ceremony for this stamp took place on December 15, 1964 in Anchorage, Alaska.

The reason for the Alaska location was that in March of that year, the largest earthquake in the history of the United States struck Alaska.  The earthquake, which measured 8.3 or higher on the Richter scale, caused widespread destruction and with the ensuing tsunami (tidal wave) it caused, the quake took 125 lives.

The members of the Amateur Radio Relay League played an important part in providing essential emergency communications during the devastating 1964 Alaska earthquake.  Amateur radio operators provided essential emergency communications, which greatly aided relief and rescue operations. The stamp also honors all those operators who took part during this emergency.

Additional Information:

More about the 1964 Earthquake

May 30

Harvey Milk – Local San Francisco Area Legend Honored on U.S. Stamp

Harvey Milk StampOn May 22, 2014 in Washington DC, the United States Postal Service (USPS) honored the life of Harvey Milk, San Francisco politician and the United States first openly gay elected official, with a new Forever Stamp. In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. His career was tragically cut short nearly a year after he took office, when he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated.

The stamp art comes from a photo of Milk as he stood in front of his camera store and has the colors of the gay pride flag appearing in a vertical strip in the top left corner. Photographer Daniel Nicoletta took the photograph used in the stamp art, which was designed by art director Antonio Alcalá.

The Harvey Milk stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. This Forever stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate.

The USPS has this to say in its dedication:
“A commitment to serving a broad constituency, not just gay people, helped make Milk an effective and popular leader. He was an eloquent speaker with a winning sense of humor and was able to build coalitions between diverse groups. His achievements gave hope and confidence to gay people at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility.

Milk believed that government should represent all citizens, insuring equality and providing needed services. In the years since his death, there have been hundreds of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender public officials in America. In 2009, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Milk the Medal of Freedom.” USPS Website

Watch the Harvey Milk Forever Stamp Dedication

May 29

50 Years Ago: U.S. #1246 John F. Kennedy Memorial Stamp

JFK Stamp #1246Fifty years ago today the 5¢ John F. Kennedy Memorial stamp was issued by the U.S. Post Offic in memory of the late president who had been assignated on November 22, 1963. U.S. #1246 was issued on May 29, 1964 on the 47th birthday of the late President John F. Kennedy. The design featured the eternal flame that was estabilished at Arlington National Cemetery, a picture of J.F.K. and a portion of Kennedy’s Inaugural Address. The design was selected by the formal First Lady and widow of J.F.K, Jacqueline Kennedy.

J.F.K., wife and children were deeply loved by the American people referring to his time in office as “Camelot” to refer to an enchanted period in White House History. His inaugeration asked the American people to “ASk not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

Highlights of his time in office:
1. Creation of the Peace Corps
2. Committed America to putting a man on the moon.
3. Cuban missle crisis
4. The beginnings of the civil rights movement.

Stats from Mystic Stamps
Issue Date: May 29, 1964
City: Boston, MA
Quantity: 511,750,000
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10 1/2
Color: Blue gray

A MNH stamp retails for around .85.

May 22

Video from the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery

This is a nice video that is shown in the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. http://npm.si.edu/stampgallery/connec…

From their website: “Stamp collecting ranks among the world’s most popular hobbies. As many as 22 million people collect stamps in the United States alone. Stamp collectors represent all ages and walks of life. Some have very general collections; others focus on special topics. Most are intrigued by the diversity of people, places, and objects illustrated on stamps. They want to learn where and when stamp were issued, who designed them, how they were printed and used. To these collectors, stamps bring history to life. Most of all, people collect stamps because it is fun.”


May 18

Swap Meeting

On May 27, Sequoia Stamp Club members have pulled from their collections, duplicates, stamps and covers they no longer collect (or never did), and other related items that will be up for sale. This material is available for purchase by all attendees that night. Doors open at 7:05 and the swap meet will start around 7:30 pm. Guests welcome. See you there.

May 06

Nigerian Scam Mail

Nigeria forged postal stamp used on cover sent to San Jose, CA.

Nigeria forged postal stamp used on cover sent to San Jose, CA.

Plan to attend the next Sequoia Stamp Club meeting on Tuesday, May 13 at 7:30 pm, to hear Jim Sauer discuss and show Nigerian scam mail covers from the 1980s to 1990s. His presentation will include Nigerian scam letters showing the scammers progression from photocopying of postage stamps, development of meters, and finally using genuine postage before switching to e-mail. 

Apr 30

May 2014 eBlast

The PENPEX eBlast has not gone out in the last 2 months because I have been extremely busy traveling to stamp shows throughout the U.S. 2014 WESTPEX Souvenir SheetThe most recent was WESTPEX last weekend. The WESTPEX 2014 souvenir sheet is shown at right. I hope everyone was able to get to the show as there was something for everyone! Also, this is PENPEX volunteers’ time to relax before our next show on December 6 & 7.

PENPEX has always been a non-profit organization but is now planning on filing for 501c3 status. It is rewriting its bylaws and will be holding a committee meeting on Tuesday, May 13 at 6:00 pm at the Community Activities Building to discuss these changes.

Included in this monthly PENPEX eBlast are the upcoming Sequoia Stamp Club activities and bay area stamp shows. Guests are always welcome. Below is the 2014 schedule glimpse covering the next two months:

  • May 13 – Nigerian Scam Mail by Jim Sauer. Silent auction. **NEW**
  • May 27 – Swap Meet. Members may sell items at their own table.
  • May 31 – Jun 1: Sunnyvale Stamp Show, Sheraton Sunnyvale Hotel.
  • Jun 10 – Shanghai Ghetto by Ed Rosen. Silent auction. **NEW**
  • Jun 24 – A Wandering Philatelist by John Dusel. Silent auction.
  • Jun 28-29: Silicon Valley Stamp Exposition, San Jose Elks Lodge.

Happy stamp hunting.
Kristin Patterson, PENPEX Chair, penpexredwoodcity@yahoo.com