Who doesn't love getting a special Valentine's Day card in the mail? Some people who do get a card receive one with a little extra flourish: a postmark, which is a stamp indicating the location and date the Postal Service took custody of a mailpiece, from a town with a romantic name.
VERIFY reader Mike asked about top postmark locations for Valentine’s Day, and whether Valentine, Nebraska, was among them.
Is Valentine, Nebraska, the top postmark location for Valentine’s Day?
No, Valentine, Nebraska, is not the top postmark location for Valentine’s Day. That honor goes to Loveland, Colorado.
WHAT WE FOUND
A postmark is an official USPS imprint in black ink stamped to the address side of a mailpiece. It will indicate the location and date the USPS accepted custody of a mailpiece, and will cancel affixed postage. Typically, this is the name of a town or city close to the sender.
But some people like to send their cards the extra mile for a special postmark. For holidays like Valentine’s Day, people can get imprints from post offices with holiday-related names before their card is re-mailed to the final recipient.
According to Albert Ruiz, a public relations representative for the USPS, you do this by first pre-addressing and pre-stamping your Valentine’s Day card, enclosing the card in a first-class envelope, addressing the envelope to the Postmaster of the city where you want the cancellation postmark and labeling it “Valentine re-mailing.”
There are 36 post offices with names related to Valentine’s Day, according to the USPS. One of those is Valentine, Nebraska, which is actually just one of three post offices in a city named “Valentine.”
According to Ruiz, the post office that receives the most Valentine’s Day re-mailing requests is in Loveland, Colorado.
“Last year they re-mailed over 113,000 cards and letters from all 50 states and 110 countries,” Ruiz said. “They have a group of volunteers that handstamp each card with the special postmark.”
In comparison, a 2014 USPS press release said Valentine, Nebraska, expected to receive approximately 5,000 requests for the town’s Special Valentine Postmark that year.
According to the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, the Loveland Valentine’s re-mailing program is the largest of its kind in the nation. A 2015 USPS press release takes it a step further, claiming Loveland’s Valentine’s re-mailing program is the largest in the world.
Loveland is one of four cities with a pictorial cancellation postmark this year, Ruiz said. Pictorial cancellation postmarks are special postmarks with some kind of picture or unique design. The other three are Romeo, Michigan; Bliss, New York; and Valentine, Texas.
Although Valentine, Nebraska, doesn’t have a pictorial postmark this year, the town has had a history of such postmarks for decades, the Nebraska State Historical Society says.