U.S. Postal Service Reissues President Ronald Reagan Stamp in 39 Cent Denomination

Jun 14, 2006, 01:00 ET from U.S. Postal Service

    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
 and Museum.
     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:
     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:
     DEPT 6270
     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