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The statehood centennial of North Dakota - the 39th or 40th state to enter the Union - is celebrated in a new U.S. commemorative.

Officially, North Dakota is the 39th state. However, North and South Dakota achieved statehood on the same day, and before President Benjamin Harrison signed the papers admitting them, he shuffled the documents so that no one would know which state was admitted first! By mutual agreement, North Dakota was declared the 39th state and South Dakota the 40th.The stamp's design features a grain elevator on a golden prairie. An empty buckboard stands in the foreground, while in the distance are puffy white clouds in a light blue sky. "USA 25" appears in a single line in the upper right and "North Dakota 1889" appears along the bottom.

Wendell Minor, noted Western landscape artist, based his design on photos provided by the North Dakota Historical Society. It is Minor's first stamp design for the U.S. Postal Service.

First-day cancellations are available in the usual two methods. In both cases, the deadline is March 23.

Collectors may buy the stamps at their local post office and affix them to their own self-addressed envelopes. Send to: Customer-Affixed Envelopes, North Dakota Statehood Stamp, Postmaster, Bismarck, ND 58501-9991. No remittance is required. The Postal Service encourages customers to order covers this way and gives these orders preferential service.

Those who prefer to have the Postal Service affix the stamps should send a money order or personal check for 25 cents per stamped envelope to: North Dakota Statehood Stamp, Postmaster, Bismarck, ND 58501-9992.


A special "World Stamp Expo" souvenir sheet will be issued during the upcoming World Stamp Expo '89, to be held in Washington from Nov. 17 through Dec. 3.

The sheet contains a reproduction of the classic 90-cent Lincoln stamp that was first issued in 1869, plus three of the trial color proofs issued for the International Cotton Exposition held in Atlanta in 1881. The sheet will cost $3.60 - the price of four 90-cent stamps. According to the Postal Service, the entire sheet, as well as individual stamps, can be used for postage.

The souvenir sheet features a slightly larger reproduction of the stamp with a carmine frame and black center. A smaller reproduction of the stamp is included in the design of the World Stamp Expo stamp, which will be issued March 16 at INTERPEX in New York.


The 1989 STAMPEX is scheduled to be held June 23-25 at the Metro Convention Center in Toronto. The show will be divided into three segments - competitive exhibits, invited displays and an international group of dealers from Canada and the United States.


Collectors who have Scott albums and specialize in U.S. Trust Territories will be interested to learn of a new, 12-page 1988 supplement about to be issued. It costs $8.95 and is available at stamp shops or from Scott Publishing, P.O. Box 828, Sidney, OH 45365.

The supplement includes the Marshall Islands Marine Birds stamps, the Robert Louis Stevenson Pacific Voyage sheet, and Micronesia airposts from 1986 through 1988, as well as two additional Palau strips of five in the Seashells series and issues for the U.S. Constitution Bicentennial.


India salutes the start of Jawaharlal Nehru Centenary Commemoration Year with the issue of two stamps dedicated to the "father" of his country.

The 60-paise bears a portrait of a pensive Nehru, with the tricolors of India in the background. The 1-rupee features the portrait of Nehru that is in the Central Hall of India's Parliament.