WASHINGTON — House leaders and the head of the U.S. Postal Service unveiled a stamp Wednesday honoring the late Rep. John Lewis.
The stamp design features a 2013 photograph of Lewis, D-Ga., taken by Marco Grob for Time magazine, the Postal Service said in a news release. The selvage, or a stamp pane’s margin, will feature a 1963 photograph of Lewis taken by Steve Schapiro outside a nonviolent protest workshop.
The official dedication ceremony for the John Lewis Forever stamp will take place July 21 at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said at Wednesday’s event on Capitol Hill. He also said the Postal Service plans to rename Atlanta’s main post office for Lewis.
“Our nation certainly benefited from his fearlessness and his unfailing willingness to get into good trouble,” DeJoy said.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Linda Earley Chastang, who was Lewis’ chief of staff, also spoke.
“I may be in a different party, I may have different views, but I’m an American. I got goose bumps and I got tears thinking how far we had come and thinking that John Lewis led the march on that bridge and led the introduction that day,” McCarthy said, recalling Lewis’ introduction of President Barack Obama in 2015 at the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama.
Jeffries said: “The stamp will forever represent and commemorate one of our country’s greatest sons and the conscience of our Congress. It’s appropriate that one of our forever heroes will be recognized with a Forever stamp.”
Lewis served in the House from 1987 until his death on July 17, 2020, months after he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was 80. He was sometimes called the “conscience of Congress” and was a longtime proponent of peaceful protests.
“The action of Rosa Parks and the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. inspired me to find a way to get in the way, to get in trouble — good trouble, necessary trouble,” Lewis said in a 2015 speech.
His phrase “good trouble” became a rallying cry for supporters advocating for equality.
Lewis was an original member of the Freedom Riders, and Alabama state troopers fractured his skull in Selma in 1965 during “Bloody Sunday.”
In July 2020, Lewis became the first Black lawmaker to lie in state in the Capitol.
“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe,” Lewis wrote in a 2020 New York Times op-ed published after his death. “In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.”
CORRECTION (June 21, 2023, 1:11 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated Hakeem Jeffries’ title. He is the Democratic minority leader, not the majority leader.
Megan Lebowitz is based in the Washington bureau. She has written about breaking politics news and U.S.-China relations.
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