1. Lewis was physically attacked and injured several times marching for civil rights in the '60s. 2. He was the youngest speaker in 1963's March on Washington. 3. President Obama awarded Lewis the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a civilian can receive. 4. Lewis has spent decades protesting injustice. He has been arrested 45 times, including 5 times as a congressman. 5. He has also written several acclaimed books, including a graphic novel about Selma.

‘John Lewis Freedom Parkway’ street signs to be revealed today

UPDATE: The new “John Lewis Freedom Parkway” street signs will be revealed Wednesday afternoon. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. Check back with ajc.com later for more details. 

ORIGINAL (published Aug. 1, 2018): A busy intown Atlanta artery, Freedom Parkway, will soon be known by a new name that recognizes a famed civil rights activist. 

Signs that read “John Lewis Freedom Parkway” are slated to be installed next month, city spokeswoman Antoinette Govan said this week. Atlanta City Council unanimously approved the name change for U.S. Rep. John Lewis in November through an ordinance introduced by Councilman Andre Dickens. 

The highway stems from the Downtown Connector, crosses Boulevard and then splits off to Ponce de Leon and Moreland avenues. The ordinance also renames East Freedom Parkway to East John Lewis Freedom Parkway. 


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Lewis, 78, was hospitalized Sunday afternoon after he fell ill Saturday on a flight to Atlanta. He was released from the hospital Sunday evening, according to a spokeswoman for the congressman. 

In January 2017, Lewis found himself in President Donald Trump’s crosshairs when Lewis announced he would boycott the inauguration. Trump sent a series of tweets criticizing his congressional district, which includes Freedom Parkway.

Other Atlanta odes to Lewis include the John Lewis Invictus Academy, a mural on Auburn Avenue and John Lewis Plaza in Freedom Park. Lewis was elected to Atlanta City Council in 1981 and Congress in 1987.

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