The posts were quickly revised with photos of Lewis, a Democratic lawmaker who died Friday at the age of 80. Rubio acknowledged the Twitter error and displayed a video of himself with Lewis. “Earlier today I tweeted an incorrect photo,” he wrote in the updated post. “John Lewis was a genuine American hero. I was honored to appear together in Miami 3 years ago at an event captured in video below. May God grant him eternal rest.”
Sullivan’s initial Facebook tribute to Lewis featured a photo of Sullivan and Cummings at the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The revised tribute omitted the reference to the museum, and the photo of the pair was replaced with a picture of Lewis alone.
The changes were made without comment. In response to an email, Sullivan spokesman Mike Anderson wrote: “Senator Sullivan’s staff made a mistake trying to honor an American legend.” Lewis, a Democrat from Atlanta, was the last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He was best known for leading 600 protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Lewis was knocked to the ground and beaten by state troopers. Televised images forced the country’s attention on racial oppression.
Cummings, a fellow civil rights activist who won 12 terms in Congress representing a district in the state of Maryland, died in October at age 68.