PHILADELPHIA (AP) - U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia has been awarded the Philadelphia's Liberty Medal for his dedication to civil rights.
Lewis is a civil rights veteran who was repeatedly threatened with violence while working for voting rights in the Jim Crow South. He was also the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington. He has represented Georgia in the U.S. House since 1987.
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 received a standing ovation Monday night and told the crowd that he never sought fame or fortune. He said all he wanted to do was help out and to make the country and world community a little better. Lewis said, "You made me cry tonight. I will never, ever forget this evening."
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.
Tuesday, Rep. Lewis is due to kick off a Hillary for Pennsylvania voter registration event in Philadelphia.
Lewis, who fought tirelessly to pass the original Voting Rights Act in 1965, will emphasize the importance of registering to vote. He’ll also encourage Pennsylvanians to utilize IWillVote.com
, a new online tool to check voter registration status or register to vote.
The event is set for 2:15pm at 7133 Germantown Avenue.