Congressman John Lewis

Civil rights leader John Lewis is U.S. Representative for Georgia's Fifth congressional district. He met Martin Luther King when he was 18. In 1960 Lewis became one of the 13 original Freedom Riders, protesting against illegal segregation in the southern states. In 1965, Lewis became nationally known on "Bloody Sunday", the first Selma to Montgomery march for equal voting rights. At the end of the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, a group of 600 demonstrators was beaten by mounted troopers. Lewis's skull was fractured, but before he could be taken to the hospital, he appeared before the television cameras calling on President Johnson to intervene in Alabama. The scars on his head that are still visible today. King walked with the second march. Lewis has been awarded many honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards from eminent national and international institutions, including the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.