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First US Airmail Flight cover signed by Woodrow Wilson

1918-05-15

Smithsonian's National Postal Museum

Smithsonian's National Postal Museum

The Taussig Cover was part of the mail carried aboard the first air mail flight on May 15, 1918. The cover with the albino-embossed cornercard of the Postmaster General, Washington, D.C. was autographed by President Woodrow Wilson and addressed to T. H. Patton, postmaster of New York City, at the suggestion of Noah W. Taussig, president of the American Molasses Company.

Taussig had written Wilson on April 22, 1918 to create this philatelic souvenir so that its sale could benefit "the American Red Cross or any war charity you may suggest." He explained to the President: "I have been a philatelist since boyhood, and as a boy I edited the New Jersey Philatelist. On May sixteenth, I will be fifty-five years of age. If you will honor me on that day by canceling the first 24-cent stamp by this new delivery with your autograph, I will arrange to have it sold at auction in New York -- and I will start the bidding with $1,000.00 ..."

First flight cover from the May 15, 1918 flight from Washington, DC to Philadelphia via New York City. The cover is Postmaster General stationery and is signed by then President Woodrow Wilson.

Museum ID: 1978.0014.1

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