The first time long time Georgia Congressman John Lewis traveled to Mississippi in 1961, he was arrested and jailed with other Freedom Riders, Black and white, who challenged segregation in a bus station. Lewis remembers going into a restroom labeled for white men only. A Jackson police officer told him and other young people in the group to leave. They refused. “The next words he said: ‘You’re under arrest.’ And that was my introduction to the state of Mississippi and the city of Jackson,” Lewis told the Associated Press last week in a phone interview from Atlanta. After 37 days of being locked up in sweltering local jails and a notorious state prison on the disorderly conduct charge, Lewis was released. He continued working for racial equality in Mississippi and across the South in the 1960s, and as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he helped organize the 1963 March on Washington. Georgia voters elected him as a Democrat to the U.S. House in 1986, and he remains in office to this day. Lewis, 78, returned to Mississippi on Feb. 23, one of five people being honored for advancing civil rights. A private group called Friends of Mississippi Civil Rights organized a gala and symposium Saturday to celebrate the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Lewis’ jail mug shot hangs in a gallery at the museum with those of other Freedom Riders. He was scheduled to speak at the museum’s state-sponsored opening in December but canceled his appearance because Republican Gov. Phil Bryant invited President Donald Trump. Lewis said Thursday that he has never met Trump but, “I felt that I couldn’t be there with him after he said some unbelievable things about individuals and about groups — whether it’s members of the African-American community or the Latino community or the Dreamers. I just couldn’t be there with him.” The opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the adjoining Museum of Mississippi History capped the state’s bicentennial observation. The two museums are in downtown Jackson and are separate entities under a single roof. They are a short distance from the bus station where Lewis and the other Freedom Riders were arrested.