WASHINGTON -- Rep. John Lewis is the son of sharecroppers. As a child, he wanted to be a preacher; he practiced by delivering fiery sermons to the family's chickens. But history had other plans for him: lunch counter sit-ins, Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, …

North Carolina is a state that holds special meaning for me. I met and married my fabulous wife, Josephine, there 56 years ago. We have a house in the mountain-west third of the state, and my career and the civil rights movement began there simultaneously.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — If Death lingers in courtroom corridors awaiting sentences, this historic city’s federal courthouse was surely a top destination. On Tuesday, the Reaper’s patience was rewarded with the jury’s return of the death penalty for Dylann Roof.

WASHINGTON — Were Donald Trump to read all the previous inaugural addresses in preparation for his big day, it would be pretty tough going from James Madison to James Buchanan. Then there was that Lincoln guy, who was really first rate in the big speech department.

As I begin my 58th year in this fascinating and rewarding craft of journalism, I beg your indulgence on remarks that are personal as well as notes from the continuing story of America.

We had stopped for gas at the small, north Georgia town of Greensboro. A headline on page 4 of the local weekly, The Herald-Journal, caught my eye, “Story About Horace The Mule.”

“Surreal” was the word of 2016, according to the fine folks at Mirriam-Webster. The Oxford dictionary was in the same ballpark, deciding “post-truth” was the 2016 winner, with “woke” and “alt-right” also in the running.

WASHINGTON — It is one of fate’s cruel jokes that conservatism should be at its modern nadir just as the Republican Party is at its zenith — if conservatism is defined as embracing limited government, displaying a rational, skeptical and moderate temperament and believing in the priority of …

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