The 2008 Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposium, jointly sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum and the American Philatelic Society, will be held in the museum’s Blount conference center Sept. 26 and 27. This will be the third annual national conference for academic scholars, philatelists and industry experts to discuss their research into the history of postal organizations and systems.
The theme for this year’s symposium is—“When the Mail Goes to War”—broadly interpreted to include everything related to defense and the postal system in all countries and eras. Postal topics to be discussed are the logistics of transporting mail to and within theaters of operation and to and from prisoners of war and concentration camps, as well as internees; overt and covert censorship of civilian and military mail in times of war and civil disturbance; the “Farm-to-Table” Postal Delivery program; and the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Often overlooked is the fact that when a nation goes to war, its stamps and postal system are always an integral part of the mobilization and relief effort.
The keynote speaker for the symposium is Brig. Gen. Reuben D. Jones, who also is the executive director of the Military Postal Service Agency. Jones was born in West Point, Miss., and graduated from Jackson State University in 1978 with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology, where he also was commissioned through the Army ROTC program. He later received a master of strategic studies degree from the U.S. Army War College. Jones assumed his current assignment as the 63rd Adjutant General of the Army June 21, 2006.
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed on Dec. 25). For more information, please call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 633-5285, Web site: www.postalmuseum.si.edu.
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