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Fonda, Garbo, Headline Stamps

Celebrities, sporty cars, and a little bit of history are coming to your post office next year with stamp subjects as diverse as Henry Fonda and Greta Garbo; sporty cars of the 1950s and Distinguished Marines; and Ronald Reagan and the Muppets.

Other subjects include Arthur Ashe, Marian Anderson, the civil rights movement, spring flowers, constellations, and another set of four Disney stamps, this time with the theme of "celebrations."

It's a wide variety, says Dave Failor, who is in charge of stamps for the Postal Service

"I think there's just going to be a lot of really fun stamps, and a lot of really good educational stamps in 2005," Failor told CBS News.com's Lloyd de Vries.

The 2005 U.S. stamp program was announced at the year's major stamp show, "Stampshow 2005," in Sacramento.

Both Fonda and Garbo were born in 1905, but Fonda was chosen for the Legends of Hollywood series, while Garbo will be honored in the fall by both the U.S. and Sweden with matching stamps. For Arthur Ashe, the significant anniversary is 10 years since his death from AIDS-related diseases. He contracted AIDS during a blood transfusion.

Ten Muppet characters will share a sheet of stamps with a single stamp for their creator, Jim Henson. The Muppets honored include Kermit, Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear.

Failor, executive director of Stamp Services for the U.S. Postal Service, said there will also be stamps for non-celebrities, such as the four stamps for geneticist Barbara McClintock, thermodynamicist Josiah Willard Gibbs, mathematician John van Neumann, and physicist Richard Feynman.

"These 4 American scientists that we picked out are people that have had a tremendous impact on our history and on our culture over the years," he said.

Other serious subjects include children's health and the start of the civil rights movement. The former shows a silhouette of a doctor checking a child with a stethoscope; around the bright-yellow border of the sheet of stamps are the slogans "regular medical checkups," "car seats each time," "balanced diet and exercise" and at the top, "health care for every child."

The set of 10 civil rights stamps is titled "To Form A More Perfect Union." It shows ten significant events in the movement, starting in 1955, as depicted in contemporary art of the time that interpreted those events.

A stamp for Ronald Reagan had already been announced, likely to be issued on what would have been his next birthday, Feb. 6, or, because Feb. 6, 2005, is a Sunday, Feb. 7.

After 12 years of issuing stamps to commemorate the Lunar New Years, the U.S. will issue a "souvenir sheet" of all 12 designs, with each stamp worth 37 cents. However, the total for 12 stamps is $4.44, and the Postal Service was advised that 4 is considered an unlucky number in Asia. Instead, the USPS will issue a double-sided sheet of 24 stamps, valued at $8.88. Eight is considered a lucky number, said Failor.

Lyricist Yip Harburg is probably best known for writing the words to the Oscar-winning song "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," but his other credits include "Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime?" and "April In Paris," as well as "How Are Things In Glocca Morra" and "Old Devil Moon," both from "Finian's Rainbow."

The 21st stamp in the Literary Arts series will feature Robert Penn Warren, the first U.S. Poet Laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for "All The King's Men." The stamp design shows both a portrait of Warren as well as a scene from the novel.

The Distinguished Marines stamps honor John A . Lejeune, Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, John Basilone, and Daniel Daly. There had been quite a bit of public support for World War II heroes Basilone and Puller. Daly and Lejeune servedin World War I.

Besides Sporty Cars of the 50s, transportation is included with a set called "American Advances in Aviation." It was spurred by continuing public requests for a stamp honoring the B-29 airplane.

There will only be a "contemporary" (non-religious) stamp for Christmas in 2005; a new "art" (religious) stamp is being issued this October, along with new Hanukkah and Kwanzaa stamps, all of which will still be on sale a year later for Christmas 2005. The four new contemporary holiday stamps will feature cookies shaped like Santa, snowmen, an angel, and gingerbread men.

Here's a complete list of the 2005 stamp issues:

  • Lunar New Year souvenir sheet
  • Black Heritage: Marian Anderson
  • Love Bouquet
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Jim Henson & The Muppets
  • Spring Flowers
  • Nature of America: Northeast Deciduous Forest
  • American Scientists
  • Literary Arts: Robert Penn Warren
  • Yip Harburg
  • Legends of Hollywood: Henry Fonda
  • Distinguished Marines
  • Modern American Architecture
  • American Treasures: New Mexico Rio Grande Blankets
  • American Advances in Aviation
  • Art of Disney: Celebrations
  • Arthur Ashe
  • To Form A More Perfect Union (Civil Rights)
  • 50s Sporty Cars
  • Constellations (4)
  • Child Health
  • Holiday Cookies
  • Let's Dance (Latino Dances)
  • Presidential Libraries

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