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The MLK Graphic Novel That Inspired Generations of Civil Rights Activists

February 7, 2020 in History

By Christopher Klein

The 16-page illustrated book was first printed in 1957 and encouraged young people, including future Congressman John Lewis, to stage nonviolent protests.

Shortly after noon on August 26, 1961, Hollis Watkins and Curtis Elmer Hayes filled two vacant stools at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in McComb, Mississippi. When the two African American students were refused service at the segregated dining spot, police arrested the pair for failing to “disperse and move on” in violation of , the third book of which earned the National Book Award. The three volumes published between 2013 and 2016 detail the experiences of Lewis growing up in rural Alabama, his first encounter with King and his participation in student sit-ins, protest marches and freedom rides.

Although Lewis, who announced in late 2019 that he was undergoing treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer, had written about his life in two prior books, the graphic novel medium connected him to a new audience. The books were, in essence, a sequel to Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.

“That comic ends in 1956 and the John Lewis story really picks up in 1958, the year he meets Martin Luther King,” Aydin says. “It’s the next chapter.”

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George Washington Raised Martha's Children and Grandchildren as His Own

February 7, 2020 in History

By Dave Roos

The ‘Father of the Nation’ stressed education among his family’s younger generations and even offered advice on navigating love.

Washington, a three-night miniseries event, premieres Feb 16 at 8/7c on HISTORY. Watch a preview now.

George and Martha Become Parents to Their Grandchildren

Eight years after Patsy’s death, Washington had a second act as the de facto father of two of his grandchildren. When Jacky died in 1781, George and Martha took in his two youngest children, two-year-old Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis (known as Nelly) and infant George Washington Parke Custis (affectionately called Washy).

When the Marquis de Lafayette visited Mount Vernon in 1784, he wrote of the warm relationship between the towering war hero and his three-year-old grandson. He described “a very little gentleman with a feather in his hat, holding fast to one finger of the good General’s remarkable hand, which (so large that hand!) was all the tiny fellow could manage.”

As Washy grew up, he inherited his father’s distaste for school. In a letter to the president of Princeton, where Washy was about to flunk out, Washington vents his frustration.

“From [Washy’s] infancy, I have discovered an almost unconquerable disposition to indolence in every thing that did not tend to his amusements,” wrote Washington, “and have exhorted him in the most parental and friendly manner, often, to devote his time to more useful pursuits…”

When Washy eventually dropped out of Princeton and came home to Mount Vernon to “study,” Washington wrote him with classic fatherly advice—“Rise early, that by habit it may become familiar, agreeable—healthy—and profitable”—and some good old-fashioned nagging.

“[T]he hours allotted for study, if really applied to it, instead of running up & down stairs, & wasted in conversation with any one who will talk with you, will enable you to make considerable progress in whatsoever line is marked out for you: and that you may do it, is my sincere wish.”

READ MORE: Did Washington Believe in God?

Washington Offered Advice on ‘Cloying’ Love

George Washington at home with his family.

The stoic Washington we know from portraits was surprisingly keen on offering love and marriage advice to his granddaughters and nieces. When his 18-year-old granddaughter, Elizabeth Parke Custis Law, was discouraged that her younger sister had beaten her to the altar, Washington warned her of marrying only for love.

“Love is a mighty pretty thing; but like all other delicious things, it is …read more