Dallas P.O. offers jelly bean contest

DALLAS -- On February 9, the U.S. Postal Service will issue nationwide a 37-cent, Ronald Reagan commemorative stamp.

Leading up to the sale date, the Dallas Post Office will honor Reagan, the nation's 40th President, and the humor he brought to his presidency by conducting a local guess the number of jelly beans contest.

Reagan always had jelly beans in the Oval Office, and now the Dallas Post Office has them in its retail lobby. The public can check out the container of colorful beans, and the person guessing closest to the correct quantity will receive not only all the jelly beans but a sheet of the commemorative Reagan stamps.

The second-closest guess will win a small framed stamp art picture of Reagan and a national first day issue cover, and the third-place guess will earn a red, white and blue American Uncle Sam stuffed bear.

The contest will end February 17, and the winners will be announced on February 18.

"The United States Postal Service is honoring the man known by his fellow Americans as the great communicator," said Dallas Postmaster Morrie Bart. "As a communicator, Ronald Reagan understood the value of the written word -- the handwritten word. Perhaps that's why he wrote and mailed more than 10,000 letters during his incredible lifetime."

Many Americnans can recount writing to Reagan with one concern or another and actally getting a handwritten reply from the president in return.

"He believed in himself and in us, his fellow countrymen," Bart said. "Through that confidence and shared belief, we knew we could achieve great things."

It is a tradition of the Postal service to honor prominent Americans with a stamp 10 or more years after their deaths. The single exception to this policy is that when a U.S. president passes away, he may be honored with a postage stamp on his next birthday anniversary. Reagan, who died on June 5, 2004, was born on February 6, 1911.

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