Civil Rights Leader John Lewis Receives Liberty Medal in Philadelphia

U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia was honored Monday night with Philadelphia's Liberty Medal for his dedication to civil rights.

In announcing the award in June, National Constitution Center CEO Jeffrey Rosen says Lewis' leadership "helped to extend the blessings of liberty and equality to all Americans."

Lewis, a civil rights veteran repeatedly threatened with violence while working for voting rights in the Jim Crow South, was a King lieutenant and the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington. He has represented Georgia in the U.S. House since 1987.

The ceremony took place at 7 p.m. Monday at the center.

"I never tried to win any award," Lewis said during his acceptance speech. "My plan wasn't to seek fame or fortune. All I wanted to do is to help out. To do what I could to help make this country and the world community a little bit better."

The medal is given annually to those who strive to secure liberty for people worldwide.

Previous Liberty Medal winners include the Dalai Lama, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and rock singer Bono.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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