Person of the Week: Celebrating 50 Years of Harper Lee's Classic, 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

Though absent, she certainly received quite the warm welcome when Notre Dame's entire graduating class, with a copy of her book in hand, cheered her name as they announced she was receiving an honorary degree. Then, just a year later, she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award.

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Now at the age of 84, Lee still lives in Monroeville, Alabama, the town where she grew up in and the location upon which "To Kill a Mockingbird's" Maycomb was based. As described in the first chapter, "it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather, the streets turned to red slop. Grass grew on the sidewalks. The courthouse sagged in the square."

'It Never Ages'

To celebrate its half-century anniversary, members of the community gathered to read the book in that same courthouse.

"Everybody is very proud of it," said Jeanette Ageeadans, a local resident. "I feel like I wrote it."

Some believe Lee's message of acceptance still rings true.

"People think this is over. This is not over," said a resident. "It still has this galvanizing effect on a young reader. It remains as relevant today as it was the very day that it was written. It never ages."

To learn more about film and television writer/producer Mary Murphy's new book, "Scout, Atticus & Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,'" and documentary, "Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & 'To Kill a Mockingbird,'" click HERE.

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