Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum Offers Family Festival July 22, 2004

Press Release

The National Postal Museum presents its annual Family Festival on Thursday, July 22 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Festival includes hands-on craft activities for children and tours of “The Queen’s Own: Stamps that Changed the World,” an exhibition of materials from Queen Elizabeth’s own Royal Philatelic Collection. The collection is considered the finest and most comprehensive holding of British and Commonwealth stamps in the world.

Hands-on festival activities for kids include making royal crowns, designing stamps, creating stamp collections and learning about the history of stamps. There will also be children’s self-guided Stamp Walks and many interactive computers throughout the museum.

Tours of the museum featuring “The Queen’s Own: Stamps That Changed the World” exhibition will be held at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The tours will highlight the world’s first stamps, known as the Penny Black and the Penny Red, as well as some of the world’s rarest stamps including the “Post Office” Mauritius penny stamp. In addition to “The Queen’s Own,” the National Postal Museum will exhibit an award-winning private collection of stamps about Queen Elizabeth II. Kristen Ollies started the collection as a fifth-grade student in 1997 and was able to show her collection to the Queen herself at the Festival of Ontario in 2002. The Queen deemed Ollies’ effort “splendid.”

All activities at the festival are free and reservations are not required.

The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at

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