MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — A plaque honoring the life of former US Congressman John Lewis was unveiled at the Alabama State Capitol Friday.
The memorial was uncovered nearly one year since his death on July 17, 2020. He served as the US Representative for Georgia’s fifth congressional district for 33 years.
Lewis was born in Troy, Ala. in 1940 and earned the nickname “the Boy from Troy” by Martin Luther King Jr. as a key player in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s. He was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders.
Lewis died in July 2020 after an eight-month-long battle with pancreatic cancer. His casket was carried down the same route on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma that he travelled back in 1965 in what would become known as “Bloody Sunday.”
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey helped unveil the plaque, which honors all 11 people who have been been given the honor of lying in state.
That list includes not just Congressman Lewis, but others like Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America; James Holt Clanton, a Confederate General; and former Gov. George C. Wallace, who famously declared in his 1963 Inaugural Address “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”