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U.S. Postal Service Celebrates La Florida's 500th Anniversary

The first written record of European exploration was the landing of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon in March 1513. Traveling with three ships, Ponce de Leon came within sight of the peninsula during Easter week of 1513. He named the land La Florida after Pascua Florida, "Feast of the Flowers," Spain's Easter celebration, and for the verdant display of vegetation visible beyond the shores.

In 1845, 332 years after Ponce de Leon first stood on its shores, Florida became the 27th U.S. state.

The Postal Service previously observed the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Florida with a 1965 stamp portraying Pedro Menendez de Aviles. The Postal Service also honored Juan Ponce de Leon with his own stamp in 1982 and celebrated the 150th anniversary of Florida's statehood with a 1995 stamp.

Customers can view the La Florida stamps, as well as many of this year's other stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, on Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2013-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service's online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

Ordering First-Day-of-Issue PostmarksCustomers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase the new stamps at local Post Offices, at usps.com/stamps or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should address the stamps envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

La Florida Stamp U.S. Postal Service 99 King Street St. Augustine, FL 32084-9998                           

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark for fewer than 50 requests. All orders must be postmarked by June 3.

Ordering First-Day Covers The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/stamps or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service Catalog Request PO Box 219014 Kansas City, MO  64121-9014

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