KYRGYZSTAN — The Seven-Thousanders
Three of Kyrgyzstan’s highest mountains are magnificently displayed on a souvenir sheet issued on February 21, 2020. The 50-kopeck value depicts Jengish Chokusu (Victory Peak), the nation’s highest point at 7,439 meters. Unpredictable weather and treacherous climbing routes make this one of the less-frequented mountains. The second stamp features Lenin Peak, a 7,134-meter mountain between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. This is the most popular of the higher mountains due to easy accessibility and routes even a novice can handle. Originally called Mount Kaufman, it was renamed after the Soviet leader, Vladimir Lenin, in 1928; efforts are currently underway to change the name again. The third stamp shows Khan Tengri (Lord of the Sky), which is in reality only 6,995 meters, but its glacial cap gives it the additional 15 meters needed to qualify for the ‘Seven Thousander’ title. Though considered one of the most beautiful Kyrgyzstan mountains, it can also be one of the most treacherous, having claimed more than a dozen climbers in a 2004 avalanche. More details are available on these stamps at: https://aps.buzz/KyrgyzstanMay20
LUXEMBOURG – 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge
After their liberation from the Germans in September 1944, the inhabitants of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg believed that, for them, the war was over. They had a rude awakening a few months later when on December 16, Adolf Hitler launched what was to his last major offensive of the Second World War. Aiming to split the Allied forces, some 30 German divisions attacked along a 136-kilometer front through the thickly wooded Ardennes Forest, including a large swath of northern Luxembourg. For six brutal, frigid weeks the battle-fatigued Americans fought back. The German advance created a bulge in the Allied lines, giving the clash the name “Battle of the Bulge.” Eventually, the Allied forces were able to stop the German assault by January 16. The stamp, issued on December 3, 2019, is available at: https://aps.buzz/LuxembourgMay20
MALDIVES — Big Cats
Maldives issued a sheet of four stamps and a souvenir sheet featuring “Big Cats”, on February 12, 2020 The sheet includes photographic images of a jaguar (Panthera onca), a cougar (Puma oncolor), a tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), and a cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) thus representing the large felines on the continents of South America, North America, Asia and Africa. The jaguar is shown again on the souvenir sheet along with an African lion (Panthera leo) and lioness in the border. The stamps are available from Maldives’ agent in perforated and imperf form at: https://aps.buzz/MaldivesMay20
THAILAND — National Children’s Day 2020
“Children are the future of the nation,” an old Thai saying states. “If the children are intelligent, the country will be prosperous.” Known as Wan Dek in Thailand, Children’s Day is a time when government offices are open to the public and children can ride free on buses or visit zoos at no charge. Thailand Post issued a block of four on January 11, 2020, to celebrate the day with colorful stamps showing boys and girls with their pets. These include a dog, a cat, a goldfish and a parrot, designed by Udorn Niyomthum of Thailand Post. Details and ordering information can be found online at: https://aps.buzz/ThailandMay20
VATICAN CITY — 50th Anniversary of the Priestly Order of St. Francis
On December 13, 1969, a young man named Jorge Mario Bergoglio, today known as Pope Francis, was ordained a priest of the Catholic Church by the Archbishop of Cordoba in Argentina. The €1.10 stamp issued by Vatican City on November 4, 2019, to commemorate the event, shows a painting by Raul Berzosa of the young priest with the church of San José in Buenos Aires on the left and the Virgin Mary on the right. The second stamp, valued at €1.15, shows the same man fifty years later with St. Paul’s Basilica to the left and Jesus Christ on the right. The stamps can be found online at: https://aps.buzz/VaticanMay20
New worldwide stamps are presented for information and are not necessarily shown at the correct scale. The quality of images available at the time of release varies widely and we resize to achieve the best possible reproduction.
Editor's Note: The article "New World Issues" was published in the May 2020 issue of The American Philatelist, available exclusively to members of the American Philatelic Society. Click here to view the full issue.