March 7, 1965 – March 25, 1965
The Selma to Montgomery Marches
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led thousands of people on a 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama to call for voting rights for African Americans.
The first march took place on March 7, 1965 — “Bloody Sunday” — when 600 marchers, protesting the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson and ongoing exclusion from the electoral process, were attacked by state and local police with billy clubs and tear gas. The second march took place March 9; police forced 2,500 protesters to turn around after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
The third march started March 16. Protected by 2,000 soldiers of the U.S. Army, 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard under Federal command, and many FBI agents and Federal Marshals, the marchers averaged 10 miles (16 km) a day along U.S. Route 80, known in Alabama as the “Jefferson Davis Highway”. The marchers arrived in Montgomery on March 24 and at the Alabama State Capitol on March 25.
The Selma to Montgomery March was the last of the three marches for the Voting Rights Movement. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Image/Source: history.com, blackfacts.com, nps.gov