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U.S. stamps are literally leaping off the presses as we pass the midway mark of the new issuances schedule.

Today we tell about three of the latest stamp issues - a 25-cent stamp hailing Virginia on the 200th anniversary of its ratification of the Constitution; a 28-cent international rate postal card honoring the packet sailing ship Yorkshire, and a 45-cent adhesive in tribute to Dr. Harvey W. Cushing, who is recognized as the "father of neurosurgery."The vertically-oriented stamp dedicated to the commonwealth of Virginia features the old Capitol building in colonial Williamsburg, with a horse and carriage in the foreground.

Virginia was the 10th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. The date of ratification "June 25, 1788," is printed below the picture. "USA 25" appears in the lower right corner. "Virginia" is seen under the date at the left.

Virginia, first settled in 1607 at Jamestown, was nicknamed "Old Dominion" because of the honorary title of "dominion" given the colony by King Charles II of England, after Virginians recognized him as king following the execution of his father, Charles I.

Many Virginians have played a prominent role in the founding of this nation, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. In addition to Washington and Jefferson, six others from Virginia's soil have become presidents of the United States - William Henry Harrison, James Madison, James Monroe, Zachary Taylor, John Tyler and Woodrow Wilson.

First-day cancellations are available.

You may purchase the Virginia stamp at your local post office and affix to your own envelopes. No remittance is required. Send to: Customer-Affixed Envelopes, Virginia Statehood Stamps, Postmaster, Williamsburg, VA 23187-9991. It must be postmarked by July 25.

If you prefer to have the USPS affix the stamp, send your request, with a money order or personal check for 25 cents to: Virginia Statehood Stamps, Postmaster, Williamsburg, VA 23187-9992. Deadline is July 25.

The fastest packet ship that ever sailed is what people called the sailing ship Yorkshire. It appears in all its sailing glory as the design on the new international postal card in the new 28-cent denomination. Built for both speed and cargo capacity, the square-rigger is depicted under full sail on moderate seas. The foresail features the symbol of the Black Ball Line, the first fleet to establish regular packet schedules for trans-Atlantic carriage of passengers, cargo and mail. "Yorkshire" and "28 USA" appear in the upper left.

The Yorkshire postal card replaces the 25-cent Flying Cloud for use at the international surface postal rate.

Here's how you obtain your first-day cancellations of the card:

You may purchase the card at your local post office and send your cancellation request to: Customer-Provided Stationery, Postmaster, Mystic, CT 06355-9991. No remittance is required.

For USPS servicing, you should provide a self-addressed label for return mailing. Enclose a money order or personal check for 28 cents per postal card and send to: Yorkshire Postal Card, Postmaster, Mystic, CT 06355-9992. For either request, the deadline is July 29.

Dr. Harvey W. Cushing, called the "father of neurosurgery," is accorded philatelic tribute on a new 45-cent Great Americans Series stamp. The denomination is for two ounces at the first-class rate. The design was based on a charcoal portrait of Cushing by John Singer Sargent, which hangs in the Yale University Art Gallery. The color of the stamp is Yale blue.

The first-day dedication, however, was scheduled for Cleveland, Ohio, Cushing's birthplace.

Cushing developed many techniques and procedures for surgery of the brain and spinal cord that are still fundamental. He served as neurologist and medical historian at Yale University. He died in New Haven, Conn., in 1939.