Rep. John Lewis Witnesses Obama Sign Bill to Preserve Civil Rights History
WASHINGTON D.C.—On Tuesday, May 12, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that would catalogue and preserve the stories and experiences of Americans who were involved with the Civil Rights Movement. The bill, H. R. 586, the Civil Rights Oral History Project, will create a joint effort between the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Library of Congress to collect oral histories of the people that were involved in the movement and preserve their stories for future generations.
“Because of the hundreds and thousands of ordinary people with extraordinary vision,” said Rep. John Lewis, “ who participated in the Civil Rights Movement, we witnessed a non-violent revolution under the rule of law, a revolution of values and ideas that changed this nation forever. It is fitting and appropriate that President Obama signed a bill today designed to preserve and protect the story of this great movement and this great people for future generations to learn about and understand. “ Lewis was an original co-sponsor of the bill authored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).
“The fight for civil rights was one of the most significant social and cultural movements in our nation’s history. I am honored that President Obama has signed this bill into law to help future generations understand the struggle to make the dream of equality and freedom a reality for all Americans.,” said Rep. McCarthy.
The goal of the Civil Rights Oral History Project is to collect video and audio recordings of those who participated in the civil rights movement, providing a historic catalogue of this historic period.