Graham Chapel to ring its chimes in honor of Rep. John Lewis

Rep. John Lewis served as Commencement speaker in 2016. (Photo : James Byard/Washington University)

Graham Chapel at Washington University in St. Louis will join houses of worship across the nation in honoring the legacy of civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who died July 17, 2020. 

At 10 a.m. Thursday, July 30, Graham Chapel will ring its bells for 80 seconds, one second for every year of Lewis’ life.

In 1965, Lewis led more than 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where they were attacked by state troopers. The “Bloody Sunday” march was a turning point in the civil rights movement and helped lead to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Lewis recalled “Bloody Sunday” in 1985 for “Eyes on the Prize,” the landmark documentary series. All interviews from “Eyes on the Prize” I  are available online through Washington University Libraries’ Film and Media Archive. 

In 2016, Lewis spoke at the university’s 155th Commencement, urging graduates to use their education and energy to protect and expand the freedoms that he and other civil rights leaders fought for a half-century ago. 

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