James A. Farley “National Air Mail Week” May 15 – 21, 1938

Finding Guide
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“National Air Mail Week” May 15 – 21, 1938 poster

Prepared by Thomas Lera, Winton Blount Research Chair and The Council of Philatelists Research Committee.


This is a specialized collection of National Air Mail Week cachets and cacheted covers. It consists of approximately 7,350 objects arranged into thirty-five binders and organized alphabetically by state and town of origination. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the inauguration of air mail service by the U.S. Post Office department, the week of May 15 – 21, 1938 was designated as National Air Mail Week.


Between December 1955 and December 1958, James A. Farley, Postmaster General of the United States from 1933 to 1940, gifted to the Smithsonian Museum items from his personal philatelic collection. These items were placed in the National Philatelic Collection.

Included in these gifts was an extraordinary collection of air mail covers addressed by postmasters throughout the United States to PMG James A. Farley during National Air Mail Week, May 15 -21, 1938.


There are thirty-five black binders containing covers commemorating the “National Air Mail Week,” May 15 – 21, 1938, addressed to PMG James A. Farley, each from a different state(s) or U.S. possession.