On Sunday, March 7th, 1965 hundreds of civil rights protesters were attacked and beaten by state and local police at the beginning of a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) had been organizing protests in the Selma, Alabama area in support of African American voting rights. In response to the death of protester and deacon Jimmy Lee Jackson, who was shot dead by an Alabama state trooper on February 17, 1965, a march was organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and others from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama on Sunday, March 7th.
On Bloody Sunday Alabama officers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge
As the marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge they found their route blocked by Alabama State Troopers. When the marchers did not turn around, the world watched on television as the nonviolent protesters were beaten with billy clubs and immobilized with teargas. The video of the brutal beatings by the Alabama Troopers which left over 50 people hospitalized sent shock waves around the world as people witnessed the violent horror of racism in Alabama towards African Americans.This march led to two other marches with the final one on March 21 receiving federal troop protection for the marchers, The publicity from the marches aiding in the federal Voting Rights Act being passed on August 6, 1965.
Below is a Historical (Silent) Video of one of the Selma to Montgomery Marches
Words That Matter
Congressman John Lewis
"We were beaten, we were tear-gassed. I thought I was going to die on this bridge. But somehow and some way, God almighty helped me here."
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