WASHINGTON (Reuters) – John Lewis, a civil rights pioneer and longtime member of Congress who died last week, will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Monday and Tuesday.
Lewis, a Democratic member of Congress from Atlanta for 33 years and protege of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died on Friday of pancreatic cancer at age 80.
An invitation-only arrival ceremony for his casket at the Capitol will be held on Monday afternoon and a public viewing will be held on Monday evening and Tuesday, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a joint statement on Thursday.
Due to concerns over the coronavirus, the public viewing will be held outdoors on the East Front Steps of the Capitol and social distancing will be strictly enforced, the statement said.
The public school district in Fairfax County, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, said on Thursday it had voted to rename the Robert E. Lee High School after Lewis.
Lee was the commanding general of the Confederate army in the U.S. Civil War. The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked a reconsideration of buildings, military installations and monuments named after soldiers who fought for the slaveholding Confederacy.
(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Peter Cooney)