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Rep. John Lewis to Receive Prestigious Lincoln Medal

June 25, 2007
Press Release
On Sunday June 24, Rep. John Lewis will receive the Lincoln Medal awarded by the Ford's Theater in Washington, DC to "individuals who through their body of work, accomplishments or personal attributes exemplify the lasting legacy and mettle of character embodied by...President Abraham Lincoln."   Past honorees consist of five First Ladies, including Nancy Reagan, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Lady Bird Johnson; several historians, including Doris Kearns Goodwin; and business executives such as Robert Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.  Congressman Lewis will be one of only three members of Congress who have ever been granted the award since its inception in 1981.

            The executive committee of the Board of Trustees of Ford's Theater evaluates candidates and determines who will receive the medal.  As the nation nears the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, the committee was seeking candidates who "illuminate or reflect Lincoln's legacy of leadership, service, humanity, wisdom, eloquence, and vision in their body of work and accomplishments or personal attributes."

            Congressman Lewis is being honored, "for his dedication to protecting human rights and civil liberties and valiant efforts to perpetuate the ideals and national vision espoused by President Lincoln."

            "Congressman Lewis's lifelong dedication to peace and justice," said Ford Theater's Producing Director Paul Tetreault," serves as a model on what it means to truly be a public servant-his strength of purpose and commitment to civil rights brings Lincoln's ideals and legacy to life."

            Ford's Theater is the site of the assassination of the16th president, Abraham Lincoln.  The theater is managed by the National Park Service and has been preserved to retain its historic significance.  Though a national historic site, it still hosts contemporary plays today and is a popular Washington tourist destination.