The United States Capitol Historical Society (USCHS) joins a grieving nation in remembering the late Congressman John Lewis. From his brave leadership in the Civil Rights Movement in his youth, to his long and dedicated service in House of Representatives, his was a life of public service that embodied the highest ideals of our country.
USCHS presented its 2014 Freedom Award – the Society’s highest honor – to Congressman Lewis in recognition of his lifetime of outstanding work on behalf of American democracy. During the ceremony, which was held on the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, then-USCHS President Ronald Sarasin stated that “John Lewis has devoted his entire life to extending the rights and privileges of democracy to all Americans. As a civil rights leader and a Member of Congress he has shaped our concept of freedom and expanded the definition of democracy.” A video of that ceremony can be viewed here.
In 2017, Congressman Lewis again participated in a USCHS Freedom Award Ceremony, this time to present the award to Lin-Manuel Miranda. During that ceremony, USCHS Chairman Donald Carlson remarked “I’m honored to stand on the same platform as this true gentleman. Like our award recipient Lin-Manuel Miranda, Congressman Lewis found a way to teach history.”
“John Lewis was a truly a heroic figure in the history of our nation, and the U.S. Capitol Historical Society has been humbled and proud to count him as a friend” said USCHS President/CEO Jane L. Campbell. “His call to cause ‘Good Trouble’ in the interest of freedom and democracy is all the more important today, and we are committed to preserving his important place in Congressional History. He will be deeply missed.”