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Late Congressman John Lewis’ stamp unveiled at Capitol


Democrats and Republicans came together last week to posthumously honor one of their own at the Capitol.

Colleagues of the late Congressman John Lewis gathered in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol to unveil the U.S. Postal Service’s stamp honoring the Civil Rights-era leader. The forever stamp features a photograph of Lewis taken for a magazine profile in 2013. It carries Lewis’ likeness and helps celebrate his life and legacy nearly three years after his death.  

An original member of the Freedom Riders, Lewis played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement, enduring brutal violence when Alabama state troopers fractured his skull during the infamous “Bloody Sunday” incident in Selma in 1965. The beloved and revered civil rights icon served more than three decades in Congress, from 1987 until his death in 2020.

A forceful speaker with a booming voice, Lewis frequently encouraged colleagues and young visitors to the Capitol to find what he called “good trouble.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy helped drop the curtain to unveil a mural-size replica of the stamp alongside former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and two longtime Lewis aides, Michael Collins and Linda Earley Chastang.

McCarthy said Lewis was a living monument to the fight against racism and discrimination saying. “The spirit of John Lewis, who represented the people of Georgia in Congress for more than 30 years, has never left these halls. John Lewis was an extraordinary man with courage, compassion and moral character,” said McCarthy.

Jeffries, the Democratic Representative from New York, expressed his belief that the stamp would forever symbolize Lewis’ significant contributions and serve as a tribute to his unwavering dedication as the conscience of Congress. He called Lewis one of the country’s greatest sons and deemed it fitting for such an influential figure to be recognized with a Forever stamp.

The location for the unveiling was a fitting site as it was considered to be Lewis’ favorite place to roam. He enjoyed meeting tourists, sharing stories about the civil rights movement, and shaking hands with colleagues and the police officers who helped keep them safe. 

 An official dedication ceremony for Lewis’ Forever stamp will take place on July 21 at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Lewis’ stamp will go on sale after that ceremony. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy confirmed during the Capitol Hill event that the Postal Service will rename Atlanta’s main post office for Lewis in August.

Linda Earley Chastang, who once served as Lewis’ chief of staff and now leads the foundation he launched before his death noted that Republicans and Democrats had gathered once again to honor the civil rights icon who was well known for reaching across the aisle. Said Chastang, “He would see this ceremony as a symbol of unity and would be honored at this reminder of his legacy and the values for which he stood. His words would echo his sentiment that we may not have chosen the same path, but we are all in this together.”

Lewis spent much of his time in congress in the minority party. After Democrats won control of the House in 2006, he became his party’s senior deputy whip, a leadership role in which he helped keep the party unified.

Lewis passed away in 2020 after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Lewis was 80 years old.


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