United States Postal Service -- The U.S. Postal Service rarely announces new stamps on a Saturday, but did so on April 6, 2019 in revealing the new stamp honoring former President George H.W. Bush, who died November 30, 2018, at the age of 94. The “Forever” stamp will always be valued at the first-class 1-ounce letter rate, currently 55¢.
As the 41st president, Bush guided the nation through the end of the Cold War and drove the creation of a multinational coalition that forced Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait in the 1990-91 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.”
The stamp art is a portrait of Bush painted by award-winning artist Michael J. Deas, based on a 1997 photograph taken by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. Phil Jordan was the art director and stamp designer.
As has become customary, the first-day-of-issue ceremony will be held on the president’s birthday, June 12, at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas. U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Robert M. Duncan will serve as the dedicating official.
The stamp is available for pre-order for delivery on or after the June 12 ceremony at usps.com/stamps, or by phone at 800-Stamp24 (800-782-6724).
Fred Baumann of the American Philatelist, weighs in on presidential memorial stamps --
Michael J. Deas paintings have been a popular choice for recent presidential memorial stamps: Deas' work was highlighted on the following memorial stamps: former President Gerald R. Ford on a 41¢ stamp in 2007 (Scott 4199); and Ronald W. Reagan on a 37¢ stamp in February 2005 (Scott 3897) and a 39¢ stamp 2006 (Scott 4076).
Some consider the first U.S. presidential memorial stamp to be the 15¢ stamp (pictured right) printed in black and released almost precisely one year after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. This April 1866 stamp was issued 28 years before the first official U.S. commemorative, and has no inscription or dates marking it as a commemorative, but its funereal appearance tempts modern collectors to regard it as such. Relatively few Americans in 1866 ever would have seen or used this stamp: as the first U.S. 15¢ stamp, it was chiefly used to pay the single-weight letter rate to France.
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