The Capitol Dome

Spring 2015

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REPRESENTATIVE JOHN LEWIS HONORED WITH FREEDOM AWARD S ociety members, Congressional leaders and distinguished guests gathered in Statuary Hall in November 2014 to honor Rep. John Lewis for his lifetime of activism to extend civil rights to all Americans. e Society presented the prestigious Freedom Award to Lewis on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Lynda Johnson Robb, former first lady of Virginia and daughter of Presi- dent Lyndon Johnson, recognized Lewis's key role in the civil rights move- ment in the 1960s. She noted that whenever her father needed him, Lewis was there. Robb added that the circumstances leading to her father's "We Shall Overcome" speech would not have occurred "if John Lewis hadn't had the courage to cross the Pettus Bridge." In accepting the Freedom Award, Lewis told of his first experiences in Washington, the quest for freedom, and his current vision for America. "When I first came to Washington it was May 1, 1961; I was a participant in the Freedom Rides. e first time I entered the U.S. Capitol, it was the morn- ing of August 28, 1963, when all the speakers at the March on Washington came to Capitol Hill to visit both the House and Senate leaders. "Each time I come into this place, and I've been in Congress now for more than 28 years, I feel more than lucky, I feel blessed. Each day that I am here, I learn more about the significance of this building, its paintings, the statues, and its meaning to the American people. Sometimes I feel like these statues are speaking to me saying, 'John Lewis, you stand up, you speak up, you speak out, you find a way to get in the way.'" Fuller coverage of the event can be found on our website,, and in the Winter 2014 issue of e Capitol Dome, also available on our website. Lewis NON PROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 9690 WASHINGTON, DC 200 Maryland Ave., NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 543-8919 (800) 887-9318 e-mail:

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