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 John L. Lewis, First Day of Issue Stamp Ceremony

On the Campus of Morehouse College 

 Martin Luther King , Jr , International Chapel 

July 21, 2023
 

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 From left, Victory Brinker, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, Bettie Mae Fikes, Bill Campbell, Henry Goodgame, Jr., Raphael Warnock, Ron Stroman, John-Miles Lewis, Logan Byrd, Linda Earley Chastang, Michael Collins, Shirley Franklin, Dottie Peoples, Alfre Woodard, Jon Ossoff, and Lawrence Carter Sr. unveil the John Lewis stamp.
 

 Among those taking part in the ceremony were Ron Stroman, U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors; mistress of ceremonies, actress Alfre Woodard; Lawrence Edward Carter, Sr., professor and founding dean of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College; John-Miles Lewis, son of John Lewis; Linda Earley Chastang, president and chief executive officer of the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation; Michael Collins, chair of the board for the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation; and U. S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA).

 John Lewis was a key figure in some of the most pivotal moments of the Civil Rights Movement.  He was the face of the Nashville Student Movement, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, an original Freedom Rider, and one of the keynote speakers at the historic 1963 March on Washington.  Even in the face of hatred and violence, Lewis remained resolute in his commitment to what he liked to call “good trouble.”

Devoted to equality and justice for all Americans, Lewis spent more than 30 years in the U. S. House of Representatives steadfastly defending and building on key civil rights gains that he helped achieve in the 1960s.  He was a staunch and unwavering believer in and advocate for nonviolent protests.  The recipient of more than 50 honorary degrees, he was called a “saint” by Time magazine and “the conscience of the Congress” by his colleagues.

Lewis served as executive director of the Voter Education Project; as associate director of ACTION, the federal volunteer agency that oversaw the Peace Corps and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA); and as a member of the Atlanta City Council.  He also was the author of several bestselling books, including the “March” comic book series and the inspiring autobiography Walking with the Wind.

Elected to represent Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives in 1986, Lewis garnered the support needed to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1991, sponsored the legislation that created the 54-mile Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail, and worked for more than a decade to establish the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  In 2011, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama.

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Actress Alfie Woodard

Master of Ceremonies

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Ron Stroman,

USPS Board of Governors

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Michael Collins,

Lewis' former Chief of Staff

John Miles-Lewis,

Son of John Lewis

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Rev. Rafael Warnock,

U. S. Senator from Georgia

Dr. Lawerence Carter, Jr.,

Morehouse Professor

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Henry M. Goodgame, Jr.,

Director at Morehouse 

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Midtown High School Knights Battalion

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Logan Byrd,

Dancer

Nation Anthem

By Victory Brinker

Dottie Peoples,

Vocalist

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"Lift Every Voice and Sing"

Ebenezer Baptist Church Choir

John L. Lewis Family

Click on picture to see slideshow

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John Lewis' family and friends with participants in ceremony

From the son of sharecroppers to being a civil rights revolutionary, to be considered the conscience of the Congress. That’s a journey that started with an envelope, a letter, and a stamp.”  John Miles-Lewis, son of late Congressman John Lewis

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John Lewis' fraternity members from Lambda Sigma

Atlanta Chapter

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Ron Stroman, USPS Board of Governors and vocalist Victory Brinker

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Actress Erika Alexander from TV sitcom Living Single and another attendee at the ceremony. 

Georgia U. S. Senators Jon Ossoff

and Raphael Warnock

Ceremony Videos

Video courtesy AP Video Productions LLC

(Short Video)

USPS John Lewis ceremony video

(Full Video)

Ebenezer Baptist Church Choir

Video by Calvin Mitchell

Martin Luther King, Jr., Chapel on campus of Morehouse College

(Click on first picture to enlarge and see all the pictures)

Ceremony attendees purchasing stamps and having items cancelled

“Whenever a new forever stamp came out, he was like a kid in a candy store, purchasing more than he could ever use. There were so many stamps. He loved too many to count. Generations of his staff in both the district and DC offices could tell you about the countless trips to every post office. From Atlanta to the house office building to buy stamps and post his mail,” Collins said.

Michael Collins, former Chief of Staff for John Lewis
 

Photos provided by Tony Thaxton, Charlene Blair, Betty Sessions, Calvin Mitchell, Eretta Morris, Clarence McKnight, and USPS. Videos by AP Video Productions LLC and USPS 

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