John Lewis

ATLANTA – The main post office in Atlanta is being named after the late Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis under legislation that gained final passage in the U.S. Senate this week.

The bill originated in the House of Representatives, which passed it last February.

As a young man in 1965, Lewis was beaten severely by Alabama state police while on a march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., an incident that came to be known as Bloody Sunday and was instrumental in congressional passage of the federal Voting Rights Act later that year.

Lewis went on to win a seat in the House representing a district centered in Atlanta, serving for more than 30 years. He died in 2020 at the age of 80.

“Congressman Lewis was my friend, mentor, and predecessor, and every day in Congress I am building on his legacy,” said Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta, who sponsored the legislation. “Renaming the Fifth Congressional District’s main United States Post Office facility after Congressman Lewis ensures that he will continue to serve the people in perpetuity.”

Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Savannah, helped steer the bill through the House on the Republican side.

“From his early days fighting segregation in Nashville to the Freedom Rides to his service in the halls of Congress, John Lewis dedicated his life to creating a more perfect union,” Carter said. “I cherish the talks we had walking to and from votes and will never forget John’s unyielding optimism and faith in the American Dream.”

The legislation now heads to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.