The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, or AAMVA, is, as its name indicates, comprised of DMV officials from across the Untied States. The Alexandria, Virginia-based group is divided into regions, and commemorative plates are often produced for regional and national meetings. Custom-made souvenir D.C. plates were provided to attendees of AAMVA's 55th annual international conference held from Aug. 30-Sept 3, 1987, in Washington.
AAMVA 1987 souvenir plates were produced at the Lorton, Va. facility where all D.C. plates were made at the time. However, upon close examination it is rather obvious that graphic features common to regular plates of the time, the slogan and city name, are silk-screen printed. One might reasonably assume that an efficient way to produce these souvenirs would have been to print just the event-specific features on graphic sheeting that already included the slogan, city name, and red stripes, but this was not done. Among several graphic differences from issued Capital City plates are wider stripes that are closer to each other.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is an alliance of 26 North American and European countries that are committed to fulfilling the goals of the North Atlantic Treaty signed on April 4, 1949. In accordance with the Treaty, the fundamental role of NATO is to safeguard the freedom and security of its member countries by political and military means. NATO, which according to its Web site is playing an increasingly important role in crisis management and peacekeeping throughout the world, is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, although the NATO building in New York City is where most of its meetings and activities take place.
A summit held in Washington, D.C. in 1999 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of NATOattracted many international dignitaries. Special license plates were made in two series: one for members of the Summit Host Committee and another for use on vehicles used by the hundreds of atttendees. Host Committee plates are blue and gold on reflective white with embossed numbers, and 150 pairs were made. Summit plates are blue on a painted (i.e. non-reflective) tan background and have embossed characters and edges. Many were used on vehicles operated by United States military personnel during the three-day event. Approximately 700 pairs were made, with numbering sequences of 1001–1300, 1501–1700, and 1801–2000.
We don't know much about the American Society of Association Executives, but when it comes to souvenirs they do a nice job. They did, at least, in 1980 when they commissioned these professionally-made, embossed souvenirs for a convention held in Washington.
The most obvious question, of course, is why have souvenirs made to look like 1926 Washington, D.C. plates? Someone in the organization must have had an original 1926 plate to copy, for the dimensions, color, and manner in which the city name and year designation are displayed are correct. According to the A.S.A.E.'s Web site the group was formed in 1920, so although the 1980 convention was its 60th anniversary that still doesn't explain the significance of the 1926 format.
It is unknown whether the small Sheraton decal placed within the letter C is an original feature. It seems likely to have been added by a Sheraton employee, but if Sheraton sponsored and hosted the event it may have had its logo on all of these souvenirs. Sheraton, for the record, opened its first hotel in 1937 so there's no obvious historical connection between the plate's overall design and the decal.
This page last updated on December 31, 2017
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