George Kramer, a well-known philatelist, has donated $100,000 to support the National Postal Museums expansion to create the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery (www.postalmuseum.si.edu/StampGallery
). The Smithsonian and the U.S. Postal Service recently signed a lease agreement for the additional space to build the gallery. This new space will be added to the museums existing 65,000 square feet and is scheduled to open in the next couple of years.
In addition, Kramer is donating for display in the new gallery, a piece of mail that was mailed to John Hancock from New York via the Constitutional Post, a mail system created by American revolutionary leaders to compete with the British post office. It was postmarked July 4, 1776, the date that the Second Continental Congress, meeting at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, approved the Declaration of Independence. No postage was charged because Hancock was president of the Congress.
The museum is honored to have the support of George Kramer, said Allen Kane, director of the museum. Georges generous donation will allow the museum to showcase the July 4, 1776, John Hancock cover allowing millions of onsite and online visitors access to a spectacular rare gem.