July 1, 1957 saw the beginning of a rather unique venture in which some sixty-four nations of the world are participating. This scientific project, known as the International Geophysical Year (IGY), will run through 1958 with the possibility of some over-lap in 1959. The IGY surveys are very broad in scope in as much as they include a study of the planet Earth in all of its brances. The seas, the oceans, the mountains, the valleys, the polar regions and the tropical areas will each lend data to the entire picture thus giving scientists from the participating nations invaluable information which is pooled for inclusion in the final reports of their studies.
The IGY has been philatelically honored by many nations of the world. The contribution of the United States came on May 31, 1958 when a 3¢ stamp had its first day sale at Chicago, Illinois. First day cover here signed by Dr James Van Allen, discoverer of the Van Allen radiation belt surrounding Earth.
The heavens are being observed from various sites, often simultaneously, to obtain weather and space information. The World Meteorological Organization is aiding these studies. The Antarctic region is under careful observation by expeditions from many nations. When the IGY is history, the world will know much about this bleak outpost which has for years been labeled a continent. Glaciers, atmospheres, ocean floors and stratospheres are lending information to the IGY study. The IGY when concluded will have given the world's researchers much to work from in their scientific studies.