Nancy Reagan 'Forever Stamp' unveiled at White House

·2 min read

A new postage stamp to honor former first lady Nancy Reagan was unveiled Monday.

First lady Jill Biden revealed the "Nancy Reagan Forever" stamp at the White House, praising her predecessor as someone who served the American people with "grace."

"She understood that the role of first lady came with inherent pitfalls and scrutiny, yet she found the humanity in it all," Biden said of Reagan. "She knew the potential of this role."

Biden was joined by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy; Fred Ryan, the chairman of the board at Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute; and Anne Peterson, a niece of the former first lady.

Reagan served as first lady from 1981 to 1989 and was known primarily for her loyalty to her husband, the 40th president of the United States. She became even more protective over him after an assassination attempt in 1981, and remained his caretaker through his Alzheimer's diagnosis until his passing in 2004.

PHOTO: Unveiling the Nancy Regan stamp in the East Room at the White House, June 6, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Unveiling the Nancy Regan stamp in the East Room at the White House, June 6, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
PHOTO: First Lady Jill Biden embraces Anne Peterson, Nancy Reagan's niece, at the unveiling of the Nancy Reagan stamp, in the East Room at the White House on June 6, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
PHOTO: First Lady Jill Biden embraces Anne Peterson, Nancy Reagan's niece, at the unveiling of the Nancy Reagan stamp, in the East Room at the White House on June 6, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

"She was fiercely loyal to her husband and her country, always placing them first," Peterson said of her aunt at Monday's event. "Making the White House a home Americans and her husband could be proud of was a priority for her."

Her primary initiative during her White House years was the major drug prevention crusade, "Just Say No." Ryan, who served as President Reagan's chief of staff, joked Monday it was "it's a bit ironic that the woman who would never take no for an answer asked an entire nation to just say no."

Reagan weathered criticism for lavish spending at the White House during a period of recession, but she was praised for speaking openly about her breast cancer diagnosis in 1987 and her decision to undergo a mastectomy.

Reagan died in 2016 at the age of 94.

MORE: Nancy Reagan, Former First Lady, Dies at 94

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden said in a statement after her death that Reagan "defined grace, courage, and loyalty."

"She was a strong voice to keep children safe from drugs, and she reached out to give comfort to fellow cancer survivors, communities touched by gun violence, and families as they cared for a loved one on the lonely walk of Alzheimer's," their statement read. "That's who she gave voice to in her service to our country."

Reagan joins just five other president's wives portrayed on U.S. stamps: Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolly Madison, Eleanor Roosevelt and Lady Bird Johnson.

PHOTO: First lady Jill Biden, Mrs. Reagan's niece Anne Peterson and Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy unveil a new U.S. Postal Service stamp of former first lady Nancy Reagan at the White House, June 6, 2022, in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
PHOTO: First lady Jill Biden, Mrs. Reagan's niece Anne Peterson and Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy unveil a new U.S. Postal Service stamp of former first lady Nancy Reagan at the White House, June 6, 2022, in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Ryan said the stamp was based on Reagan's "favorite portrait" by American painter Aaron Shikler.

The dedication ceremony for the stamp will be held on July 6 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California, according to the United States Postal Service. The ceremony will happen on the 101st anniversary of her birth.

"With this stamp, we are affirming that she made such a difference," Biden said on Monday.

Nancy Reagan 'Forever Stamp' unveiled at White House originally appeared on abcnews.go.com