1 of 3 | Democratic Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries D-N.Y., speaks during the unveiling of a new stamp honoring the late Rep. John Lewis in the Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
June 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Postal Service revealed a stamp celebrating late civil rights icon and Rep. John Lewis as a part of a series of seven new stamps for 2023.
The stamp portrays Lewis later in life as a longtime Congressman as he presented a portion of Georgia that included Atlanta. Lewis had been a civil rights leader in his teens, one of the youngest confidants of Martin Luther King Jr. and the youngest speaker to address the crowd at the history March of Washington in 1963.
"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," the Postal Service said of Lewis, who died in 2020, 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 features a photograph of Lewis taken by Marco Grob on assignment for the Aug. 26, 2013, issue of Time magazine.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., offered their praises to Lewis in a ceremony announcing the stamps on Wednesday.
"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 of Lewis introducing President Barack Obama at the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" in 2015.
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," he said.
The Postal Service said the image of Lewis is preliminary and could change.
The selvage, or a stamp pane's margin, will feature a 1963 photograph of Lewis taken by Steve Schapiro outside a nonviolent protest workshop.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the official dedication ceremony for Lewis's Forever stamp will take place at Atlanta's Morehouse College on July 21. DeJoy said the Postal Service plans to rename Atlanta's main post office for Lewis.