National Post Card Week History

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In the United States and around the world it is customary to dedicate a day and sometimes a month for a specific celebration. We observe Black History Month (February) and National Spaghetti Day (January 4) or National Find a Rainbow Day (April 3), therefore it is natural for collectors such as we are, that we have a National Postcard Day or Week.

America’s National Postcard Week (NPCW) has been the first full week of May since 1984. There is also a World Postcard Day that has been celebrated on October 1st,since2020.

National Post Card Week, as we know it, was an idea created by postcard-dealer members of the International Federation of Postcard Dealers to promote the hobby of collecting postcards. At first, it was mainly postcard collecting clubs and dealers that produced special postcards that were mailed to their members and associates. Today, any individual can participate … more of this later.

Not a new idea …
The idea of a celebration was not new in 1984. There was a National Postcard Week in 1911. Throughout the country, the goal was to produce postcards that would be mailed on May 1st. One theme in those early years was to advertise a city.

In Canada the date of June 1, 1912, was declared by the Board of Trade in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, to be Post Card Day. In the article FireSide Reading that appeared in CardTalk, the Toronto Postcard Club’s Winter 2017 issue, Gray Scrimgeour states, “This was a Board of Trade effort to promote the new city by having its citizens send out Lewis Rice postcards with pre-printed boasts on the back.” 

Other places enacted “postcard days.” For example: San Diego, California, had a day in 1913; Hillsboro, Texas, used February 7, 1914; and Hutchinson, Kansas, did it too. These places continued the goal of advertising their city.

NPCW card artists …
There are many widely known artists and illustrators who have created art for National Postcard Week cards. To name only a few, Ann Rusnak, Art Craig, and Louise Northum were involved in the early years. And there is one other illustrator who really needs no introduction: Rick Geary. Rick is still creating postcards for NPCW and for dozens of other celebrations and special events.

The Idea Folks and Forerunners …
In 1984 when the International Federation of Postcard Dealers (IFPD) created the event, as we know it, some of those pioneers were: DeeDee Parker of Western Reserve Post Card Society, John McClintock, founder and president of the South Jersey Postcard Club and the Manassas Postcard Club in Virginia; Roy Cox, Baltimore, Maryland’s most highly respected postcard dealer, and Richard Novick of New Jersey and Fred Khan of North Carolina.

The IFPD flourished with these most devoted officers although most had passed away or were no longer active when Demaris Swint took over the organization around 2014. Now Demaris is also gone and two new volunteers have taken over the duties of organizing National Postcard Week. They are Clarissa Ferraris and Emery Heuermann.

The Participants …
Over the years, many postcard clubs and individuals have participated in NPCW! The Wichita Postcard Club is particularly noteworthy for their annual NPCW postcards, appearing every year since 1984.

Others who deserve mention are Craig Starr, Kay Feight, Ruth Hatchett, Eileen Goldschmidt, Shirley Montgomery, Earl Buckam, Donald Wayne, Jack Mount, Don and Newly Preziosi, and Emery Heuerman.  Also, Lee Brown, Bette Mays, John and Dolores Pittman, Gilbert and Margaret Pittman, Kathy and Danny Danielsen and Stan and Jane Pepper did many postcards from the mid-1980s to well into the early 2000s.

What’s on the calendar for 2024?
What is different now is that NPCW now celebrates the “postcard.” Most of the postcards are created by individuals with messages of national or personal interest, anniversaries of special events or celebrations of achievements. Some even go to the extent of celebrating a pet’s birthday. Clubs in recent years have managed to hold their own, but very few club cards are designed to honor a hometown.

If you would like to participate in the 2024 National Postcard Week celebration, please check the details at https://sites.google.com/view/national-postcard-week.

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What a wonderful history!

I have participated every year since 2011. It’s so fun to design a postcard and swap. Thanks for this great overview of the history behind it.

I want to add Art Craig to the list of participants too. Thanks for all of these reminders of postcard friends. I enjoyed reading the history. A good review!!

I was a member of the Western Reserve Post Card Society when I lived in the Cleveland area, and am thus glad to know that one of its members was among the National Postcard Week pioneers.

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