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U.S. Postal Service Honors Mickey Mouse and Friends on Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service has issued a set of four stamps featuring Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and a host of Disney friends, the first of three Disney-themed stamp panes that will be issued over as many years.

"With the dedication of the Disney stamps, we get the chance to capture the spirit of friendship as it appears in the art, the imagination and the creative tradition of Walt Disney," said postmaster general John Potter, who officiated at the first-day-of-issue stamp dedication ceremony in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Park on June 23, 2004.

More than a quarter of a billion stamps were printed in the first in the series, The Art of Disney: Friendship, honoring friendship as it appears in the art of Walt Disney. Future Disney-themed stamps will showcase a breadth of quintessential Disney moments. The new stamps are also featured on stamped postal cards and stamped stationery,

The Art of Disney: Friendship self-adhesive 37-cent stamps, available in panels of 20, feature world-famous Disney friends on four stamp designs.

* Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck as the perfect fun-loving group.* Bambi and Thumper as childhood best friends. * Mufasa and Simba show the powerful bond between parent and child. * Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket exemplify a mentoring relationship.

Customers have 30 days to obtain the first day of issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local post office, by telephone at 800-STAMP-24, and at the Postal Store Website at www.usps.com/shop. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

DISNEY: FRIENDSHIP STAMPSPOSTMASTER701 N. LOARA STREETANAHEIM CA 92803-9998

The Disney relationship with the Postal Service began in 1933 when Mickey Mouse starred in the animated short, MAIL PILOT. Disney was first recognized on a stamp in 1968. On the stamp, a parade of children, hand-in-hand, emerge from a tiny castle to surround a portrait of Walt Disney. The children garbed in native costume from around the world.

In 1998, a Snow White stamp was issued as part of the Postal Service's "Celebrate the Century" stamp series that highlighted the most memorable and significant people, places, events and trends of each decade of the 20th century.

The 37-cent stamps and the booklet of 20, 23-cent stamped postal cards are available at post offices and philatelic centers nationwide. A colorful 37-cent stamped stationery pad containing 12-sheets of the four designs are 14.95. The stationery pad will be available in select post office locations and at philatelic centers.

For Disney memorabilia fans, there is a host of other collectables, including:

* Set of four 8x10-inch stamp-affixed Disney Prints, depicting each of the stamps, for $14.95* Composite 18x10-inch stamp-affixed Disney Metallic Print for $14.95* Disney Cancellation Keepsake for $10.40, four first-day cover envelopes with one each of the stamps.

To see The Art of Disney: Friendship stamps visit the online Postal Store at www.usps.com/shop and click on "Release Schedule" in the Collector's Corner.

U.S. stamps and stationery, as well as a free catalog, are available by toll-free phone order at 1 800 STAMP-24. In addition, a selection of stamps and other philatelic items are available at the online Postal Store at www.usps.com/shop. Custom-framed prints of original stamp art are available at http://www.postalartgallery.com.

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