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VP Biden pays tribute to civil rights leader

Wednesday - 6/19/2013, 1:55pm  ET

AP: a99e309d-2052-43d3-a29d-c8c33fb7f7c3
From left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Vice President Joe Biden applaud during a ceremony to dedicate the statue of Frederick Douglass, seen behind them, Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in the Emancipation Hall of the United States Visitor Center on Capitol Hill in Washington. The bronze statue of Douglass is by Maryland artist Steve Weitzman. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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VALERIE BONK
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden is hailing Frederick Douglass for his work to bring about equal justice, leading a series of tributes at the unveiling of a statue of the 19th-century orator and writer.

Biden, along with Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and Democratic Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, used the U.S. Capitol ceremony to call for equal voting rights for citizens of the District of Columbia -- an issue dear to Douglass' heart.

Biden said the people of the District "made the right choice" in selecting Douglass as their representative.

The 7-foot bronze likeness of Douglass joins sculpted statues of fellow blacks Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Sojourner Truth in Emancipation Hall.

Douglass was born a slave in 1818 in Talbot County, Md. and advised President Abraham Lincoln.


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