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The Postal Service’s latest release honors a beloved first lady

April 6, 2024

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » USPS Employee News

The Postal Service will release its Betty Ford stamp on Friday, April 5.

The stamp, announced last month, honors the former first lady, who was widely admired for her support of women’s rights and her candor about the serious health challenges she faced.

Born Elizabeth Anne Bloomer in 1918, she married Gerald R. Ford in 1948. He was elected that year to the first of 13 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gerald Ford was appointed vice president in December 1973 after Spiro Agnew resigned.

When the Watergate scandal forced the resignation of President Richard Nixon on Aug. 9, 1974, Ford became the 38th president.

He is the first person to hold both offices without having been elected president or vice president.

Betty Ford was first lady from 1974 to 1977.

The new first lady impressed the American public in interviews by showing humor and frankness about controversial issues facing the country.

She campaigned tirelessly for the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have mandated constitutional equality for all Americans, regardless of gender.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Ford underwent a mastectomy on Sept. 28, 1974. While medical issues of previous first ladies weren’t always disclosed, she chose to share the story of her treatment for the once-taboo medical condition.

In 1978, after an intervention, she sought treatment for a substance use disorder. Later, Ford and former ambassador and close family friend Leonard Firestone established the Betty Ford Center for substance dependency.

Gerald Ford died in 2006 and Betty Ford died in 2011.

Derry Noyes, an art director for USPS, designed the new stamp using a detail from Felix de Cossio’s official 1977 White House portrait. The oil-on-canvas painting shows a seated Ford dressed in pale blue chiffon.

The Betty Ford stamp will be available in panes of 20 at Post Offices and usps.com.

The stamp will be dedicated April 5 during a ceremony in Rancho Mirage, CA.

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