One of Ronald Reagan’s favorite places to visit was his ranch in Santa Barbara — the backdrop of a new stamp commemorating what would have been his 100th birthday next year.
The design of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Postage Stamp was unveiled by the U.S. Postal Service during a ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley.
The stamp will be sold at post offices beginning Feb. 10, four days after Reagan’s Feb. 6 birthday.During unveiling, Nancy Reagan smiled and affectionately touched a large portrait of her late husband used for the stamp. The portrait was created by Texas artist Bart Forbes and is based on a 1985 photograph of Reagan taken at Rancho del Cielo.
“Oh my, how he loved that ranch. How marvelously Mr. Forbes has captured the essence of the man,” said James C. Miller III, representing the Postal Service’s board of governors.
This is the third Ronald Reagan stamp. The first was a 37-cent one released after Reagan’s death in 2004. The Postal Service re-issued the same stamp at 39 cents following a rate increase.
Miller said the current stamp not only honors his birthday but also Reagan’s “America” and that “sunny-faced optimism that has led us through the centuries.”
The preliminary design shows a 44-cent value on the new Reagan stamp, but it may become a “Forever” stamp by the time it is sold, said postal officials. Forever stamps sell for the going first-class rate and cover the full postage if rates increase.
John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, said the new stamp is one of many events and activities planned to commemorate Reagan’s centennial birthday.