13 December 2022
The new stamp was requested by a U.S. Senator who was once Lewis’s intern
US politician and Civil Rights activist John Lewis is to be commemorated on a new stamp by the U.S. Postal Service.
Lewis, who died in 2020 at the age of 80, was a major figure in the Civil Rights Movement. Active in the movement from his student days, he helped to found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and became one of the Civil Right’s Movements leaders –the ‘Big Six’, which included Martin Luther King – who organised the March on Washington in 1963. In 1965, he was amongst the marchers assaulted by police and state troopers on what came to be called ‘Bloody Sunday’. Images of Lewis being beaten were shown on a special news bulletin that interrupted a prime-time broadcast on ABC and galvanised support for the marchers and the Movement. Lewis went on to be elected to Alabama City Council, and subsequently had a long career in Congress.
The new stamp issue came about after U.S, Senator Georgia Democrat John Ossoff, who was once an intern in Lewis's office, wrote to the U.S. Stamp Advisory and requested it in 2021. The stamp design uses a photograph of Lewis taken by Marco Grob for Time Magazine in 2013. The margins of the stamp sheet will feature a photograph of Lewis taken by Steve Schapiro at a 1963 workshop on non-violent protest in Clarksdale, Mississippi.