A commemorative U.S. postage stamp honoring the late Nancy Reagan was unveiled Monday at the White House, drawing praise from family members, a former aide to Reagan, as well as first lady Jill Biden, a democrat.
The stamp, which will be issued on July 6 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., shows Ms. Reagan – who died in 2016 at age 94 and was buried at the library next to her late husband – in her “color signature red,” a U.S. Postal Service spokesperson said.
The image on the commemoration in vertical format is a detail of the official 1987 oil on canvas portrait of the White House by Aaron Shikler. It depicts Mrs. Reagan in a flowing gown by James Galanos. USPS art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp, the agency said.
The stamp will appear four days before a two-cent increase in the one-ounce first-class rate for which it will be issued. Initially, the stamp will cost 58 cents, a price that will drop to 60 cents on July 10. Because this is a “forever” stamp, those purchased at the lowest price will always prepay that one ounce rate.
Democrat Mrs. Biden hailed Mrs. Reagan, a GOP predecessor, as a presidential wife who served “the American people with grace” and who “found humanity” in a job for which there is “no no instructions to guide us”.
Mrs. Reagan, she added, “travelled the country listening to American stories and just brought them back to her husband. She drew attention to issues close to her heart. And she spoke bravely about her cancer as it was mentioned and [about] his mastectomy.
The first lady said: ‘With this stamp we affirm that she has made such a difference. You know, we can all change the world in a big way. And little ones. And Mrs. Reagan reminds us that we need both.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Ms. Reagan would be the sixth presidential wife to receive a postal commemoration.
“Previous stamps have been issued for Martha Washington, the first American woman to appear on a postage stamp, Dolley Madison, Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt and Lady Bird Johnson,” Mr. DeJoy noted.
Ms. Reagan, the postmaster said, “was an inspiring person. Her legacy of public service and her willingness to tackle difficult and often very personal matters throughout her eventful life have made her one of the most influential and admired first ladies of modern times.
Reagan Presidential Foundation Board Chairman Frederick J. Ryan Jr. said, “Ms. Reagan was a crucial confidant and essential partner… It’s no exaggeration to say that there would have been no Ronald Reagan success without Nancy Reagan.
And Anne Peterson, Mrs Reagan’s niece, said her late aunt ‘was fiercely loyal to her husband and her country, always putting them first’.
She added that Ms Reagan “knew she was a guest in the nation’s house and as such treated her and the people who looked after her with the deepest respect and consideration.”
Ron Reagan, in a statement released by the USPS, said his late mother “would, of course, have responded modestly to this wonderful commemoration. But secretly, she would be very pleased.