Celebrating The Moon Landing 30 Years Later

Michael O. Nowlan - August 26, 1999
  Three of the Fiji Moon Landing
Commemorative stamps.

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 touched down on the moon. For the first time, human beings walked upon the moon’s surface, one of those memorable moments in history in which all the world was agog.

Thirty years later, the event remains newsworthy. Although it gained attention in major newspapers, the most significant celebration of the anniversary of the moon landing, for philatelists, was conceived by Crown Agents Stamp Bureau (CSAB) in Great Britain.

CSAB worked with Ascension Island, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Jamaica, Kiribati, Nauru, St. Kitts, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu to produce an omnibus collection of stamps and souvenir sheets that is eye-pleasing and exciting.

Each of the 13 countries issued four stamps and a souvenir sheet on July 20. The individual stamps are a chronological parade of events leading up to the launch of Apollo 11, the launch itself, the spacecraft in orbit, and the moon walk. The central figures of the event - Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, and Michael Collins - are also pictured.

At first glance, the souvenir sheets are facsimiles with the exception of country name and denomination. A thorough look, however, reveals distinctive features on each.

The sheets are attractively designed 3 ˝” by 3” rectangles with “30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST MANNED MOON-LANDING in circular format around the outside. The surface of the moon and outer space share a second circle. Some of the sheets depict the command module in varying ranges of orbit while others have the lander craft settling down, again in varying positions. The most distinctive characteristic of each sheet is the inner circle - the stamp itself - circular in design showing the relevant country’s geographical location on earth from the Moon.

This set of 52 stamps and 13 souvenir sheets will add much to any topical collection of space stamps, and it can even make a singular mini-collection.

To get the 30th Anniversary of the First Manned Moon Landing Omnibus, see a dealer or write Crown Agents Stamp Bureau, Old Inn House, 2 Carshalton Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 4RN United Kingdom.

Michael O. Nowlan was born in Chatham, New Brunswick Canada. He grew up on a nearby farm, was educated, and became a teacher. In retirement, he follows his life-long avocation of writing. His credits include 16 books (four books of poems, two children's titles, and anthologies for schools). In recent years, he has written extensively about stamp collecting for CANADIAN STAMP NEWS, GIBBONS INTERNATIONAL STAMP NEWS, and other philatelic publications.

Michael O. Nowlan was born in Chatham, New Brunswick Canada. He grew up on a nearby farm, was educated, and became a teacher. In retirement, he follows his life-long avocation of writing. His credits include 16 books (four books of poems, two children's titles, and anthologies for schools). In recent years, he has written extensively about stamp collecting for CANADIAN STAMP NEWS, GIBBONS INTERNATIONAL STAMP NEWS, and other philatelic publications.

First day cover issued by Fiji, to commemorate the 1969 Moon Landing.

Several nations recognized the 30th anniversary of the Moon Landing
besides the U.S. and some British Commonwealth nations,
including Guyana whose selection is shown above.

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