Stamp honoring Nancy Reagan unveiled at White House
Jill Biden is putting her stamp on bridging the partisan divide, helping to unveil a new postage stamp that honors former first lady Nancy Reagan.
The first lady was on hand Monday at the White House to give the first glimpse at the U.S. Postal Service stamp featuring the image of former President Reagan’s wife.
“Nancy Reagan served the American people with grace. She understood that the role of first lady came with inherent pitfalls and scrutiny,” Biden said.
Biden also said despite first ladies being “thrust into the national spotlight,” Reagan “found the humanity in it all.”
“She knew the potential of this role,” Biden said.
Praising Reagan for bringing attention to “issues that she cared about,” — including becoming an advocate for breast cancer screenings following her mastectomy and working towards Alzheimer’s disease research after her husband’s diagnosis — Biden said, “With this stamp, we are affirming that she made such a difference. You know we can all change the world in big ways and small ones, and Mrs. Reagan reminds us that we need both.”
The stamp depicted the ex-executive mansion resident sporting a gown in her signature shade, dubbed “Reagan red.” The art for the stamp was based on Nancy Reagan’s official 1987 White House portrait created by painter Aaron Shikler.
“Isn’t this stamp just beautiful?” Biden exclaimed.
The forever stamp’s first day of issue, which was delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be on July 6. The date is timed to mark what would have been Nancy Reagan’s 101st birthday.
The move to reveal the new postal tribute to Nancy Reagan at the White House could be seen as a bipartisan nod by Biden. A 2018 Pew Research Center survey found that the majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents named Ronald Reagan, who served as commander in chief from 1981 to 1989, the best president in their lifetime.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Fred Ryan, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, also participated in the event, along with Reagan’s niece, Anne Petersen.
“Through our stamp program, the Postal Service seeks to commemorate and celebrate the very best of America, and Nancy Reagan truly represents that ideal,” DeJoy said.
Ryan lauded Nancy Reagan for bringing “warmth, wit and sense of style” to her role, telling a crowd in the East Room that she “developed a quiet ability to work behind the scenes to get things done in Washington — no small feat.”
Reagan, who died at age 94 in 2016, is part of an exclusive club: only five other former first ladies have appeared on commemorative forever stamps, with Lady Bird Johnson the most recent presidential spouse to be recognized back in 2012.
The stamp ceremony was one of a series of centennial events held by the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute to honor Nancy Reagan. The group has said that the events, which began last year, are meant to “highlight her many contributions to the nation and her life of extraordinary achievements.”