Trahan, Warren, Markey Lead Push for Jack Kerouac Commemorative Stamp
Washington, March 15, 2021
LOWELL, MA – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) authored a request to the U.S. Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee asking for approval of a commemorative postage stamp featuring Jean-Louis Lebris “Jack” de Kerouac, an esteemed author and Lowell native who is credited as an early leader of the Beat Generation literary movement.
“We are writing to respectfully request that the U.S. Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee approve an official U.S. postage stamp to commemorate the life and legacy of Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac,” the lawmakers wrote. “Better known as “Jack,” this giant of American literature and favorite son of Lowell, Massachusetts merits a commemorative stamp as the centennial of his birth approaches.”
Kerouac, who was born in Lowell 99 years ago today, would go on to serve as a Merchant Marine during World War II, during which he wrote his first novel that went unpublished until more than four decades following his death. His work gained worldwide attention in the late 1950s following publication of On the Road, a novel now revered as a hallmark of the Beat Generation movement. Kerouac’s novels would go on to inspire literary and musical artists from a wide array of genres.
“Alongside Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac ignited the literary movement in the 1950s known as the ‘Beat Generation.’ The movement’s rebuke against traditional values and materialism created the foundation for subsequent counterculture movements in America and beyond,” the lawmakers continued. “The ‘Beatles’ took their name after the movement, while artists such as Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison from ‘Doors’ cite Kerouac’s work as major influences. The beatnik stereotype dominated popular media and culture in the 1950s and 1960s, an amalgamation of Kerouac's self-expressive, unconventional characters. More than half a century since his death, Kerouac’s novels still fire the imagination, particularly of young people, and serve as a tribute to their culture-changing origins.”
Trahan, Warren, and Markey’s request echoes similar calls from other federal elected officials from Massachusetts, including Senators Paul Tsongas, Edward M. Kennedy, and John Kerry, as well as Representatives Marty Meehan and Niki Tsongas. A digital copy of the letter sent today can be accessed by CLICKING HERE.