Honoring John Lewis
Congressman John Lewis, a Civil Rights icon, passed away on July 17 at the age of 80. He was instrumental in the historic nonviolent struggle for racial equality in the United States. John Lewis joined the Freedom Riders in 1961 who were determined to ride an integrated bus from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans. In 1963 he became chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee until 1966. John Lewis was one of the "Big Six" leaders who organized the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, which led to the Civil Rights Act. In March 1965 he helped lead a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama for African American voting rights which became violent and was known as "Bloody Sunday." In 1970 he became Director of the Voter Education Project until 1977.
John Lewis was elected to the United States House of Representatives for Georgia's 5th congressional district in 1986 and served seventeen terms. At the time of his death, he was the senior Chief Deputy Whip for the Democratic Party and a member of the House Ways & Means Committee. In an increasingly polarized Washington, John Lewis managed to gather and maintain admirers across party lines.
The civil rights icon has also been honored with numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the NAACP's Spingarn Medal and the sole John F. Kennedy "Profile in Courage Award" for Lifetime Achievement.
View The Washington Post's a visual story to remember his legacy.
Watch documentaries, Freedom Riders, on Hoopla or check out The March: the story of the greatest march in American history.