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S.Res. 170 (113th): A resolution commemorating John Lewis on the 50th anniversary of his chairmanship of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

The text of the bill below is as of Jun 13, 2013 (Introduced).



1st Session

S. RES. 170


June 13, 2013

submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


Commemorating John Lewis on the 50th anniversary of his chairmanship of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Whereas Congressman John Robert Lewis was born on February 21, 1940, outside of Troy, Alabama, to parents Eddie and Willie Mae (Carter) Lewis;

Whereas John Lewis has devoted his life to safeguarding human rights, protecting civil liberties, and building what he calls the Beloved Community in the United States;

Whereas John Lewis grew up on a farm in a family of sharecroppers and attended segregated public schools in Pike County, Alabama;

Whereas, drawing inspiration at an early age from the dedication and bravery demonstrated through the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis joined the movement to secure the basic equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States;

Whereas, while studying at Fisk University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy, John Lewis led the charge by unifying and organizing volunteers for sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee;

Whereas, in 1961, John Lewis showed his bravery and dedication while participating in Freedom Rides, challenging segregation at interstate bus terminals throughout the South, subjecting himself to being beaten by an angry mob, and even being arrested for peacefully confronting the injustice of Jim Crow segregation in the South;

Whereas, from 1963 to 1966, at a pivotal point in the Civil Rights Movement, John Lewis was named Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which he helped found, orchestrating student activism in the Movement, including sit-ins, voter registration drives, community action programs, and other activities;

Whereas, at the young age of 23, John Lewis achieved national recognition and respect as 1 of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, both planning and speaking at the historic March on Washington in August 1963, along with fellow leaders and friends such as Martin Luther King, Jr.;

Whereas, along with many others, John Lewis demonstrated great courage by risking his life and casting light on the senseless cruelty of the time when he was brutally attacked while leading over 600 peaceful orderly protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, to demonstrate the need for voting rights, on March 7, 1965, which later became known as Bloody Sunday, expediting the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ( 42 U.S.C. 1971 note; Public Law 89–110 );

Whereas, in 1968, John Lewis portrayed wisdom in balancing his advocacy with family, taking Lillian Miles Lewis as his wife and later raising their son, John Miles Lewis, together;

Whereas John Lewis was elected in 1986 to serve as the United States Representative for Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District and has capably and effectively served his constituency since then, serving as Chief Deputy Whip for the House Democratic caucus; and

Whereas John Lewis’s unwavering ethical and moral principles have garnered admiration and respect from his colleagues on both sides of the aisle: Now, therefore, be it

That the Senate


commends Congressman John Lewis of Georgia on the 50th anniversary of his chairmanship of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; and


commemorates his legacy of tirelessly working to secure civil liberties for all, thereby building and ensuring a more perfect Union.