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Selma to Montgomery March

The Selma-to-Montgomery March was a series of 3-marches and events that shifted the civil rights movement of the 1960s. On March 7, 1965, approximately 600 activists set out to march to protest their right to vote, however they were stopped on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, after traveling just six blocks. There, while the nation was watching, they were beat and attacked by police officers and locals; forcing them back into Selma and making it what we now know as “Bloody Sunday.” Two days later, Martin Luther King, Jr., led a symbolic march of approximately 2,500 people to that same bridge to show both their resilience and commitment. After this symbolic stance, civil rights leaders petitioned the court for protection in order to complete all full march from Selma to Montgomery. The Judge, Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., sided with King and the demonstrators stating that “the law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups, and these rights may be exercised by marching, even along public highway.” With the court’s protection and the nation watching, on March 21, 1965, approximately 3,200 marchers of all hues set out for Montgomery. It took 4-days, but by the time they reached the capitol on Thursday, March 25, they had grown to approximately 25,000-strong. Less than five months later, with Dr. King and other civil rights leaders by his side, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


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