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U.S. and Sweden honor the Nobel Prize

The U.S. Postal Service and Sweden Post will honor the centennial of the Nobel Prize by issuing commemorative stamps Thursday at the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington. The 34-cent stamp goes on sale nationwide the next day.

The Nobel Prize, established in the will of Swedish-born inventor and industrialist Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), is presented annually on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death. Nobel Prize winners receive a gold medal, a diploma and a check.

The U.S. stamp depicts Alfred Nobel in profile and two gold medals. In the center is the gold medal awarded for physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and for literature. On the left is the gold medal awarded for peace.

The Nobel Foundation has awarded prizes every year since 1901. To date, more than 250 Americans have received Nobel Prizes.

For first-day cancellations, affix the stamps to envelopes, address the envelopes, place them in a larger folder and mail to Nobel Prize Commemorative Stamp, Postmaster, 900 Brentwood Road NE, Washington, DC 20066-9991. Requests must be postmarked by April 21, 2001.

Customers can also request a first-day Sweden Post postmark by affixing the Swedish stamps to envelopes, providing a stamped, self-addressed envelope for their return, placing them in a larger envelope and mailing to the address above. The Sweden Post stamp booklet can be purchased by calling Stamp Fulfillment Services toll-free at 1-800-782-6724.

Diabetes Awareness

The U.S. Postal Service is supporting and encouraging diabetes education with the issuance Friday of the Diabetes Awareness commemorative postage stamp. The 34-cent stamp is now on sale nationwide.

Diabetes is a chronic, genetically determined, debilitating disease that affects every organ system. There is no cure; insulin is merely life support.

Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, amputation, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, and it accounts for more than $105-billion in annual U.S. health care costs.

The stamp depicts two elements associated with diabetes testing and research, a microscope and a test tube containing blood, and features the phrase, "Know More About Diabetes."

For first-day cancellations, send to Awareness Stamp, Postmaster, P.O. Box 9696, Boston MA 02205-9991. Requests must be postmarked by April 16.