"To Kill a Mockingbird" at 50

We bring back Atticus, Scout and Boo Radley, as Harper Lee’s great novel of race and justice turns 50.

Gregory Peck is shown as attorney Atticus Finch, a small-town Southern lawyer who defends a black man accused of rape, in a scene from the 1962 movie "To Kill a Mockingbird." (AP)

“To Kill a Mockingbird” turns 50 this year, and all over the country Americans are turning out to reread and honor the story of Atticus Finch, Scout, Boo Radley, Tom Robinson – and race and justice in the pre-Civil Rights era South. 

“To Kill a Mockingbird” was a bestseller and a Pulitzer Prize winner in its day. 

The movie, with Gregory Peck, was a national event. The book’s author, Harper Lee, is still alive – though she hasn’t spoken publically in years. And the book itself – the story – sells on and on, and still moves. 

This Hour, On Point: “To Kill a Mockingbird” at fifty.


Claudia Durst Johnson, professor emeritus at the University of Alabama, where she chaired the English Department for twelve years. She’s author of “To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries.”

Rick Bragg
, journalist and professor of writing at the University of Alabama. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for his work at the New York Times, and received the 2009 Harper Lee Award from the Alabama Writers’ Forum. His most recent books are “The Most They Ever Had,” and “The Prince of Frogtown.”

Listen back to our interview with Rick Bragg for his memoir “The Prince of Frogtown.”

Catherine Jones teaches English and creative writing at Bartlett High School in Bartlett, TN. She received a 2009 Outstanding New Teacher of English Award from the Shelby- Memphis Council of Teachers of English.


See what the Alabama Humanities Foundation and Harper Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Alabama have planned for the 50th anniversary of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Oct 9, 2015
A manhole begins to spill over with floodwaters as high tide approaches at Dorchester Road at Sawmill Branch Canal in Summerville, S.C., Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.  (AP)

Russia goes big in Syria. The US hits a hospital in Kunduz. Hillary flips on the TPP. An epic flood in South Carolina. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 9, 2015
In this Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, photo, Devlin D'Zmura, a tending news manager at DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, works on his laptop at the company's offices in Boston. (AP)

Fantasy football scandal, and the wild, booming betting world of fantasy sports.

Oct 8, 2015
US singer Patti Smith performs during the Way Out West music festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, Saturday, Aug.15, 2015.  (AP)

Iconic rocker, poet of punk, and National Book Award-winning author Patti Smith joins us to talk about her new memoir, “M Train”.

Oct 8, 2015
In this Aug. 2, 2012 file photo, local newspapers show stories about the controversial strategy to bail the government out of a financial hole, at a restaurant along Seven Mile Beach on the outskirts of George Town on the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands have lost some of their allure by abruptly proposing what amounts to an income tax on expatriate workers who have helped build the territory into one of the most famous or, for some people, notorious offshore banking centers that have tax advantages for foreign investment operations. (AP)

Trillions of dollars are now stashed in protected tax havens around the world, leaving societies’ bills to those at home. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Meet The Interns, Fall 2015
Friday, Oct 9, 2015

Meet our Fall 2015 interns! (Better late than never, right?)

More »
1 Comment
Our Week In The Web: October 9, 2015
Friday, Oct 9, 2015


More »
Rep. Daniel Webster: ‘I’m Gonna Sell This Message’
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015

When House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced his retirement and resignation from his position last month, it surprised both his Party and the Washington political establishment.

More »