Dec 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Late civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis to be honored on stamp in 2023

John Lewis stands on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., on Feb. 14, 2015. Lewis was beaten by police on the bridge on "Bloody Sunday" on March 7, 1965, during a march for voting rights. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced Tuesday that it will honor the late civil rights leader John Lewis' life and legacy on a stamp in 2023.

The big picture: Lewis, an organizer and speaker for the historic 1963 March on Washington, led the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches and served in the U.S. House from 1987 until his death in 2020. Many consider him a national hero.

  • One of the original Freedom Riders who rode buses from the North to the South to challenge segregation, Lewis had his skull fractured after Alabama state troopers beat him on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma during the march for voting rights on March 7, 1965. He nonetheless remained a longtime advocate of nonviolent protest.

Driving the news: "Devoted to equality and justice for all Americans, Lewis spent more than 30 years in Congress steadfastly defending and building on key civil rights gains that he had helped achieve in the 1960s," USPS said in a statement.

  • "Even in the face of hatred and violence, as well as some 45 arrests, Lewis remained resolute in his commitment to what he liked to call 'good trouble.'"
  • The stamp will feature a photograph of Lewis taken by Marco Grob for the Aug. 26, 2013, issue of Time magazine.

What they're saying: "I'm honored that this new stamp will join Atlanta's John R. Lewis Post Office in honoring a great man and a guiding light for justice and moral clarity," Rep. Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) said in a tweet celebrating the announcement.

  • "Let it always remind us to get in the #GoodTrouble that Congressman Lewis taught us."
  • "Lewis’ face is the face of voting rights," Linda Earley Chastang, a former Lewis chief of staff who now serves as CEO of the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation, said in a statement to NBC News.
  • "Having it on a postage stamp honors Lewis and the movement which he led and, in the process, encourages voter participation, civic engagement, and getting into 'good trouble.'"
Go deeper