John Lewis crosses Selma bridge one last time

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SELMA, Ala. (WIAT) — The family of the late congressman John Lewis will host “Celebration of Life” events across the country this weekend, including in Alabama, his home state.

Several events celebrating Lewis’s life will be held Saturday in Troy and Selma:

Lewis’s celebration of life continues Sunday with multiple events in Montgomery and Selma:

  • The Final Crossing – Edmund Pettus Bridge at 10 a.m. CT
  • Receiving Ceremony – Front Entrance Hall, Alabama State Capitol at 2 p.m. CT
  • Congressman Lewis Lies in State – Alabama State Capitol from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. CT

Saturday’s and Sunday’s events are part of a six-day celebration of the civil rights icon. Rep. Lewis (D-Ga.) died last Friday at age 80 of pancreatic cancer—a battle he made public in late December. He was the last surviving member of the “Big Six” civil rights activists, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who organized the 1963 March on Washington.

Saturday, Lewis’s body will travel back to his hometown of Troy, where he grew up on a farm during racial segregation in the South. Hopeful of attending the local, all-white Troy College, now Troy University, Lewis said he never received a response and instead attended the predominately Black American Baptist College in Nashville. Wanting to challenge school segregation, he then decided to write to Martin Luther King, Jr., about his struggle. This correspondence sparked Lewis’s involvement in the civil rights movement and eventual participation in the 1961 Freedom Rides.

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