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U.S. Postal Service Unveils 2009 Civil Rights Pioneer Stamp Series at Morehouse


(Feb. 26, 2009) -- Worn by years of tirelessly fighting for civil and human rights during the 1930s and ‘40s, the late attorney Charles Hamilton Houston wrote a message to his 6-year-old son while on his deathbed.

He told his son that he had, “fought to make the world a better place, and in every fight, some fall,” Charles Hamilton Houston Jr. said in a letter he asked his cousin, Beverly Travis, to read at Morehouse on Feb. 26 during the United States Postal Service’s presentation of the 2009 Civil Rights Pioneer Stamp series.

The ceremony, held in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel lobby, was the unveiling of stamps honoring Houston and 11 other civil rights legends: Ella Baker, Daisy Gatson Bates, John Robert Clifford, Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ruby Hurley, Mary White Ovington, Joel Elias Spingarn, Mary Church Terrell, Oswald Garrison Villard and Walter White.

“Some of these pioneers are household names, while other are unsung heroes and heroines whose selfless deeds continue to make a difference in the lives of African Americans, and, hence, the nation,” said President Robert M. Franklin Jr. ’75.

The series unveiling also was held in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the NAACP -- the nation’s oldest civil rights organization in which all 12 were directly or indirectly involved.

Kate F. Wiley, Atlanta district manager for the USPS, called the work of the 12 honorees uncommon and inspirational.

“The hope of our nation is built on these 12 very special people and thousands of others who may never appear on a postage stamp, but who helped pave the way for so many of us just the same,” she said.

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