COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The U.S. Postal Service will unveil a stamp honoring former President George H.W. Bush during a ceremony Wednesday in College Station.
The stamp features a striking image of Bush, who served as president from 1989 to 1993, in a gray suit, white shirt and star-spotted blue tie.
America’s 41st president died last year at the age of 94. He is buried at the family’s gravesite at his presidential library in College Station.
Here are five things to know about the stamp:
1. It is a commemorative Forever Stamp by the United States Postal Service dedicated in College Station.
USPS announced it will issue a commemorative Forever Stamp honoring former President Bush. It's part of the USPS' longstanding tradition of remembering great presidents. The first day of issue dedication ceremony was held Wednesday at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center in College Station at the Bush Center. Along with the USPS, speakers included David Jones, president and CEO of the George and Barbara Bush Foundation, Warren Finch, the director of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Ambassador Chase Untermeyer, Jean Becker, 41's chief of staff and grandson Pierce Bush who is also the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star.
The stamp will be available for preorder April 6, 2019, for delivery on or after the June 12 ceremony at usps.com/stamps, or by phone at 800-Stamp24 (800-782-6724). The stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp, which will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.
2. The stamp is meant to honor Bush 41 for his service.
The 41st president guided the United States through the end of the Cold War and drove the creation of a multinational coalition that successfully forced Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait in the Persian Gulf War. An advocate for public service, Bush explained his vision of a nation of volunteers as “a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky."
3. The dedication of the stamp took place on what would have been the 41st president's 95th birthday.
Bush was born on June 12, the same day of the dedication of the stamp in College Station. At the George Bush Library, there was cake, popcorn and Blue Bell ice cream. It also happens that former First Lady Barbara Bush's 94th birthday was on June 8, 1925. Their birthdays were just four days apart.
4. Bush chose the art he wanted on the stamp.
President Bush 41's favorite photo of himself was a photo featured on the cover Texas Monthly. The stamp art is a portrait of Bush painted by award-winning artist Michael J. Deas. It is based on a 1997 photograph taken by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. Phil Jordan was the art director and stamp designer. According to officials, President Bush had chosen the art he wanted for the stamp.
5. People lined up even before the dedication to get their stamps.
Before the ceremony even happened, there were many people in attendance who came early to make sure to buy the presidential commemorative stamp of Bush 41.
"He is an icon for us to lead by. An example of what we want to grow up to be," Jennifer Bozorgnia, a Dallas-native, said.
Bozorgnia was one of more than 100 people who waited in line.
"I'm sharing them with some friends of mine, and my kids will have a shot at it," Steve Smith, a state district judge for Brazos County said. "I'm just proud to be a foundation member, lifelong member of the library. He meant a lot to us, even though he didn't live (in College Station)."
For many people, the worldly president was also a kind neighbor, a loving husband and a man with a powerful pen.
"I for one will buy a ton of stamps so I can pass them down one day," Pierce Bush, 41's grandson, said. "There is probably no more eloquent U.S. president when it comes to the written word than President George H.W. Bush."
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