AHA’s Roosevelt-Wilson Award to Be Conferred on Representative John Lewis

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The American Historical Association instituted the Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Award in 2003 to honor a person not in academe—a public official or civil servant, for instance—who has made extraordinary contributions to the study, teaching, and understanding of history. At its 121st meeting, the Association will confer the award upon John Lewis, the congressional representative for the 5th District in Georgia. In honoring Representative Lewis, the AHA is recognizing in particular his unstinting efforts to establish a national museum of African American history and culture and for the key support he extended in Congress to history programs in the National Park Service.

John Lewis, who was born the son of sharecroppers on February 21, 1940, grew up on his family’s farm and attended segregated public schools in Pike County, Alabama. He was inspired by the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and the activism surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott, to become a part of the civil rights movement.

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