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Lawton NAACP presented with stamp of civil rights icon

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - On Friday, a new stamp in honor of Black History Month was unveiled at the Lawton Post Office.

The stamp features a picture of Dorothy Height, one of the most influential civil and women's rights leaders of the 20th century.

Height was known for her fight for the rights of African-Americans and women across the country. She was the architect of the famous March on Washington in 1963 and shared the stage with Martin Luther King, Junior as he delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech.

Dr. Bettye Gaines, of the Lawton Chapter of the NAACP, said Dorothy Height is well-deserving of this recognition.

"You don't just get this honor by doing nothing but sitting down, you get it because you contribute so much to society, to the world and to people of the world. Not just African-American people, but all people,” Gaines said.

Height was also named to the Commission on the Status of Women by President John F. Kennedy and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton and the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush.

She's the 40th person to be featured in the Black Heritage Series of stamps, which honors a notable African-American each year. The Lawton Post Office and the local chapter of the NAACP have been doing these presentations for the last six years.

"I feel pretty honored and privileged that they came to me and asked me to be a part of that and I'm definitely obliged to be a part of it," Lawton Postmaster JT Hoffman said.

Gaines said presentations on those from our past are extremely important, not only for us but also for the younger generation.

"You can't just go around expecting people to give you anything or do anything,” Gaines said. “You have to earn it. And that's what this is about, letting not only the African-American children know, but every child, every young person know that there is something they can do to enhance this world."

Height was a special guest to President Barack Obama when he was inaugurated in 2009. She passed away in 2010 at the age of 98.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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