During this week 84 years ago, the whole country celebrated the 20th anniversary of air mail. And the Quogue Wildlife Refuge celebrated too!
May 15th to May 21st, 1938 was National Air Mail Week. Although the country was in the midst of the Great Depression, Postmaster General James A. Farley encouraged every person to send an airmail letter, as well as every town to create their own commemorative design to be printed on envelopes to be mailed on May 19th. This celebration was embraced wholeheartedly by the country with 4.5 million air mail letters sent. The slogan of the week was “Receive To-morrow’s Mail To-day!”
And the newly formed Quogue Wildlife Refuge (QWR), established in 1934, celebrated too! At that time, QWR was known as the Southampton Township Wildfowl Association (STWA) or the Quogue Sanctuary.
The STWA was invited to make a stamp for National Air Mail Week in 1938. Russell Carman, charter member of the STWA, wrote in The Building of a Sanctuary that “May 15-21, 1938 was Air Mail Week. As winners of the Nationwide Sanctuary Content and as participants in the opening of National Wildlife Week, we [QWR] were allowed to choose our own stamp or seal. We asked member Roland Clark, famous wildfowl artist to prepare something for us. He did a sketch of 4 mallards lighting in the north end of the main pond; had it transferred onto a rubber stamp and hundreds of letters went out.”
Although our world has changed greatly since that time, we continue to be inspired by the history of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. The preservation of this special place has allowed thousands of people to connect with nature.
 Maksel, Smithsonian Magazine, 2008. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/air-space-magazine/a-flying-success-11458339/