WASHINGTON, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the U.S. Postal Service
reissued the stamp honoring former President Ronald Reagan in Simi Valley,
CA, at a First-Class postage rate of 39 cents. Reagan's patriotism,
charisma and optimistic confidence rallied the nation and made him one of
the most popular Presidents of the 20th century. The Ronald Reagan 37-cent
commemorative stamp was issued Feb. 9, 2005. The 39-cent stamp with the
same design is available in Simi Valley, CA, today, and will be available
nationwide Thurs., June 15.
"I am particularly honored to join you in celebrating the life of a
remarkable world leader, a distinguished President and a great man," said
James C. Miller III, Chairman of the presidentially appointed U.S. Postal
Service Board of Governors. "Ronald Reagan's record is proof that one
person, determined and dedicated, can shoulder the greatest of burdens and
carry them through to victory, and in his case, even make it look easy,"
added Miller, who served as Reagan's Director of the Office of Management
and Budget and later, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.
Joining Chairman Miller in dedicating the stamp was Duke Blackwood,
Executive Director, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Kerry Wolny,
District Manager, Van Nuys District, U.S. Postal Service.
"Re-issuing a commemorative U.S. Presidential stamp in a higher
denomination is a very rare occurrence," said Blackwood. "Mrs. Reagan is
touched that the U.S. Postal Service is honoring her husband in this
Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, IL, on Feb. 6, 1911, but he
considered Dixon, IL, where the family settled when he was nine, to be his
hometown. A natural athlete and budding thespian, Reagan lettered in
several sports and acted in school plays throughout his high school and
college years. Popular with his classmates, he was elected student body
president in both high school and college.
In 1926, Reagan became a summer lifeguard in Lowell Park, IL, located
on the Rock River near Dixon, and is credited with rescuing 77 people
during the seven seasons he worked there. After graduating from Eureka
College in 1932, he sought employment as a radio sports announcer. Just a
few years later he was one of the leading announcers in the Midwest,
broadcasting from an NBC affiliate station in Des Moines, IA.
In 1937, Reagan went to California to cover the Chicago Cubs during
spring training and landed a movie contract with Warner Bros. During his
years in Hollywood he appeared in more than 50 films, including the
acclaimed All American (1940), in which he played Notre Dame football
legend George "the Gipper" Gipp.
Reagan was called up for active duty during World War II, but poor
eyesight kept him from serving overseas. Instead he was assigned to the
army's motion picture unit in Culver City, CA, where he narrated training
films and appeared in patriotic military films. After being honorably
discharged on Dec. 9, 1945, he resumed his Hollywood career. In 1957,
Reagan costarred with his wife, actress Nancy Davis (whom he had married in
1952), in Hellcats of the Navy, their only film together.
Elected president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in 1947, an office
he held through 1952, and again from 1959 - 1960, Reagan testified in that
capacity before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
On Oct. 27, 1964, Reagan gave a nationally televised address endorsing
Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Although Goldwater lost
the election to Lyndon B. Johnson, Reagan's speech, a searing indictment of
big government and Johnson's "Great Society" programs, thrust him into the
limelight as a leader of the conservative movement and effectively launched
his political career. Two years later he defeated the incumbent governor of
California, Democrat Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, by a landslide. In 1970 he was
elected to a second term in office.
In 1968, while still governor of California, Reagan made a tentative
bid for President, announcing his candidacy at the Republican National
Convention in Miami Beach. Eight years later he waged an active campaign,
and although he lost the 1976 Republican nomination to incumbent Gerald R.
Ford, his strong showing in the primaries and at the convention in Kansas
City set the stage for his next presidential run.
Pledging to reduce the federal government's role in the lives of all
Americans, Reagan was the frontrunner during the 1980 presidential
primaries. He received the Republican nomination at the convention in
Detroit and won a landslide victory over incumbent Jimmy Carter in the
November election. On Jan. 20, 1981, he was sworn into office as the 40th
President of the United States. That same month TIME magazine named him its
1980 "Man of the Year."
Adept at promoting his conservative agenda and deregulation policies,
Reagan became known as the "Great Communicator." He persuaded Congress to
pass legislation aimed at curbing inflation, increasing employment,
reducing social welfare programs and strengthening national defense. The
popular and charismatic President had succeeded in rallying Americans and
inspiring their renewed confidence in the nation. In 1984 he was reelected
by another landslide, receiving an unprecedented number of electoral votes.
"Peace through strength" is how Reagan characterized his foreign policy
toward the Soviet Union and to that end he promoted and obtained a massive
defense budget. But in 1984 he also began to make diplomatic overtures to
Moscow. The following year Mikhail S. Gorbachev rose to power. Gorbachev's
willingness to end the Cold War by arms reduction and political reform in
Eastern Europe brought Reagan to the bargaining table. Working together to
improve relations between the two countries, Reagan and Gorbachev held a
series of summit conferences during the next few years. At the 1987 summit
in Washington, DC, they signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces
Treaty, the first pact to reduce nuclear arsenals. Strategic arms were
limited in a later treaty. By the end of his second term, Reagan had
visited Moscow and regarded Gorbachev as a friend.
When Reagan left office in January 1989, he and former First Lady Nancy
Reagan returned to California. Later that year, on November 9, Communist
East Germany opened its borders, including the Berlin Wall, to the West.
This momentous event occurred less than two and a half years after Reagan's
famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate, in which he had boldly challenged
Gorbachev to, "tear down this wall!"
In California, Reagan worked on his second autobiography, published in
1990. But his highest priority was to oversee completion of the Ronald
Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley. A tribute to
Reagan's legacy of peace, freedom and democracy, the facility has welcomed
more than a million visitors since it opened in 1991.
In 1994, Reagan shared his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease with the
American people in a moving, handwritten letter. After that he retired from
public life and his family delivered periodic updates to the nation and
helped raise awareness of Alzheimer's.
On June 5, 2004, Ronald Reagan died in California at the age of 93, the
longest-lived President in American history. His state funeral, the first
to be held in Washington, D.C., in more than 30 years, drew hundreds of
thousands of mourners, including past and present world leaders. After the
national funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral on June 11,
his body was flown back to California where a private burial service took
place at sunset on the grounds of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
The stamp art is a portrait of Reagan painted by award-winning artist
Michael J. Deas, whose many projects for the Postal Service include several
stamps in the Legends of Hollywood series and the Literary Arts series. The
portrait is based on a 1981 photograph of Reagan made by White House
photographer Jack Kightlinger.
How to Order First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Customers have 30 days to obtain the first-day of issue postmark by
mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, by telephone
at 800- STAMP-24, and at the Postal Store Web site at
http://www.usps.com/shop. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of
their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place
them in a larger envelope addressed to:
RONALD REAGAN STAMP
2551 N GALENA AVE
SIMI VALLEY CA 93065-9998
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.
All orders must be postmarked by July 13, 2006.
How to Order First-Day Covers
Stamp Fulfillment Services 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. Customers
may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:
US POSTAL SERVICE
PO BOX 219014
KANSAS CITY MO 64121-9014
Since 1775, the United States Postal Service and its predecessor, the
Post Office Department, have connected friends, families, neighbors and
businesses by mail. An independent federal agency that visits more than 144
million homes and businesses every day, the Postal Service is the only
service provider delivering to every address in the nation. It receives no
taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues
solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual
revenues of $70 billion, it is the world's leading provider of mailing and
delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in
the world. The U.S. Postal Service delivers more than 46 percent of the
world's mail volume -- some 212 billion letters, advertisements,
periodicals and packages a year -- and serves seven million customers each
day at its 37,000 retail locations nationwide.
SOURCE U.S. Postal Service