Some Oppose Renaming Edmund Pettus Bridge After Late Civil Rights Leader Rep. John Lewis

Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., is extolled at an event with fellow Democrats before passing the Voting Rights Advancement Act to eliminate potential state and local voter suppression laws, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Calls are growing nationally to honor the late Rep. John Lewis by putting his name on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where he and other voting rights demonstrators were beaten 55 years ago. But the idea is being met with resistance in Selma, the city where “Bloody Sunday” occurred.

Some say renaming the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the Georgia congressman would dishonor local activists who spent years advocating for civil rights before Lewis arrived in town in the 1960s. Others fear tourism would be hurt if the name were changed.

Alabama legislators would have to approve any change, and a key lawmaker says the change wouldn’t be appropriate.

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