“When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made.” Barack Obama on the passing of John Lewis. I’m sad John Lewis died during this sick, sad era. But I’m glad he got to see Americans take to the streets. As Obama writes: “He could not have been prouder of their efforts — of a new generation standing up for freedom and equality, a new generation intent on voting and protecting the right to vote, a new generation running for political office.”

+ “When Lewis was a few months old, the manager of a chicken farm named Jesse Thornton was lynched about twenty miles down the road, in the town of Luverne. His offense was referring to a police officer by his first name, not as ‘Mister.’ A mob pursued Thornton, stoned and shot him, then dumped his body in a swamp; it was found, a week later, surrounded by vultures.” David Remnick: John Lewis’s Legacy and America’s Redemption.

+ NYT: Images of his beating at Selma shocked the nation and led to swift passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He was later called the conscience of the Congress.

+ David Von Drehle in WaPo: With the deaths of John Lewis and C.T. Vivian, history seems to be sending a message. “Maybe history is saying this: Two of our best, two giants, two heroes, two voices, two glories of peaceful persuasion, of victory without violence, have left the stage arm-in-arm, fists raised in triumph. Take their message to heart. Ours is not the first discouraging moment. Can we resolve, like them, not to falter into despair?”

+ Civil rights activist and politician John Lewis – a life in pictures. There’s no smile like the one that says you know you’re on the right side of history. There’s good trouble happening in the heavens today.