Civil Rights Icon John Lewis to Lie In State at the US Capitol

Illustration for article titled Civil Rights Icon John Lewis to Lie In State at the US Capitol
Photo: Elijah Nouvelage (Getty Images)

The civil rights legend and Georgia Rep. John Lewis, who fought the racist Trump administration right up until his final breath, will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on Monday and Tuesday.


Lewis, the longtime Democratic congressman from Atlanta and last living speaker from the March on Washington, died July 17 from pancreatic cancer at age 80.

The former protege of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will lie in his casket at the Capitol in an invitation-only arrival ceremony on Monday afternoon. A public viewing will be held Monday evening and Tuesday, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a joint statement on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Reuters notes that due to the coronavirus, “the public viewing will be held outdoors on the East Front Steps of the Capitol and social distancing will be strictly enforced.”

From CNN:

The public viewing line will start at 6 p.m. ET and go until 10 p.m. ET on Monday and from 8 a.m. ET until 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Before that, a military honor guard will accompany Lewis’ body across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama, where he helped lead the 1965 march for voting rights.

The honor guard will also be present while Lewis’ body lies in state in Montgomery on Sunday, Washington on Monday and Tuesday and finally Atlanta on Wednesday, his family said in a news release.

Lewis’ family encouraged supporters to host “John Lewis Virtual Love Events” in their homes to watch the ceremonies instead of traveling across the country, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“To fully participate, the public is encouraged to tie a blue or purple ribbon on their front doors or in their front yards to commemorate his life,” the family said.

On Thursday, Robert E. Lee High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, announced that the school name would be changed to honor Lewis.

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