Rep. John Lewis: Timeline of events at a life that is remarkable


Produced in rural Alabama during the dark days of Jim Crow segregation,” Rep. John Lewis rose from poverty to be a pioneer of the civil rights movement and later was elected to Congress. Here’s a timeline of several significant events in Lewis’ life.

Feb. 21, 1940: Created the son of Black sharecroppers near Troy, Alabama.

Fall 1959: Extended considering civil rights and motivated by the work of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis participates in a series of workshops on nonviolent confrontation when attending college in Nashville, Tennessee. He proceeds to take part in sit-ins, mass meetings along with the landmark”Freedom Rides” of all 1961 that analyzed racial segregation in the South.

January 1963: called chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis arrives in Selma, Alabama, to aid enroll Black folks to vote. Eight months afterwards and only days later serving Martin Luther King Jr. organize the March on Washington, Lewis is detained for the first of over 40 days, for civil rights actions in Selma.

March 7, 1965: Lewis is crushed by an Alabama state trooper when trying to direct an estimated 600 voting rights marchers from Selma on how to Montgomery in an abusive confrontation today called Bloody Sunday. He spends two weeks at a hospital.


March 21-25, 1965: Lewis joins thousands of other people throughout the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights .

John Lewis, far right, is observed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., fourth from left, along with a crowd of several thousand others, marching into the courthouse in Montgomery, Ala., March 17, 1965. From left are an unidentified girl, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, James Foreman, King, Jesse Douglas Sr., and Lewis. (Associated Press)

1971: Lewis takes over as executive director of the Voter Education Project, a program of the Southern Regional Council.

April 5, 1977: Lewis, which makes his first bid for Congress in metro Atlanta, loses into some favorite white politician at a runoff. Later that year he’s made by President Jimmy Carter to lead ACTION, a national volunteer agency.

Oct. 6, 1981: Lewis wins his first political division together with his election as a member of the Atlanta City Council, where he serves till 1986.

Nov. 4, 1986: Lewis is elected to Congress representing Georgia’s 5th District, which comprises a lot of Atlanta. He had been re-elected 16 occasions, most recently without resistance in 2018. Just once did he get less than 70percent of their vote.

2001: Lewis receives the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for Lifetime Achievement, among a great number of honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor, presented by President Barack Obama at 2011.

President Barack Obama presents a 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Feb. 15, 2011. (Associated Press)

President Barack Obama introduces a 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., through a ceremony in the East Room of the White House at Washington, Feb. 15, 2011. (Associated Press)

April 27, 2009: Lewis and others are detained in Washington through a demonstration in the embassy of Sudan, in which they had been protesting the expulsion of help workers amid a humanitarian catastrophe.


March 8, 2015: Lewis joins Obama, former President George W. Bush and tens of thousands of others from Selma in the commemoration of this 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

June 22, 2016: Lewis contributes a Democratic sit-in on the House floor to protest inaction on gun control steps.

Dec. 29, 2019: Lewis admits he’s been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.

July 17, 2020: Lewis dies at the time of age 80.

Resources: Lewis’ congressional biography, U.S. District Court documents, AP files.


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