It's hard to throw a rock here without hitting a plaque to something, though most commemorate the Battle of Selma during the Civil War. In March 1965 Selma was the centre of an African American voter-registration drive led by Martin Luther King, Jr. Local violence against civil rights activists, culminating in an attack by police on demonstrators crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the river and the murder of James J. Reeb, a Boston clergyman, led to a massive nonviolent protest march from Selma to Montgomery, the state capital. I have always wondered what the state trooper was thinking," March 7, 1965. As the demonstrators crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, they were ordered by the police to disperse. The Kings lead thousands of people in the final stage of the third and final march through downtown Montgomery to the steps of the capitol after the five-day, 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, March 25, 1965. Many of the images show well known figures such as Dr. Martin Early morning. The Selma March 1965 exhibition runs from March 5 to April 18, 2015. Led by Hosea Williams, one of King’s SCLC lieutenants, and Lewis, some 600 demonstrators walked, two by two, the six blocks to the Edmund Pettus Bridge that crossed the Alabama River and led out of Selma. When I ask, "What happened in Selma?," I am really asking what has happened since the events portrayed in the movie and what happened to the struggle for civil rights and social justice in the United States that seemed so promising in 1965. However, white officials would not budge and were constantly fighting against these attempts and resisting them. Almost immediately after telling marchers they had "two minutes to disperse" the state troopers charge with their billy clubs, Selma, Alabama, 1965. The bridge is named after Edmund Winston Pettus, a lawyer, judge, Confederate brigadier general, state-level leader ("Grand Dragon") of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan, and U.S. senator.. Because of Pettus' role in supporting slavery and racism in the United States, there have been efforts to rename the bridge, including one coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches in 2015. He did so as a symbolic gesture. The Selma Movement is saying today that we all can doing something. While King was in Atlanta, his SCLC colleague Hosea Williams and SNCC leader John Lewis led the march. When police viciously attacked a When a fellow demonstrator is felled by a blow to the head, Pam Clempson rushes to his aid. The sixth episode, "Bridge to Freedom", explores the Selma to Montgomery marches. On March 7, approximately 600 non-violent protestors, the vast majority being African-American, departed from Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma with the intent on marching 54-miles to Montgomery, as a memorial to Jimmy Lee Jackson and to protest for voter's rights. After the marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Selma’s outskirts, white state troopers assaulted them, knocking many to the ground and be… of Education extends student loan payment freeze, Who leads federal agencies until Senate confirms Biden's nominees, Climate activists expect a lot from Biden and aren't afraid to say so, Joe Biden's "Day One" actions and his promises for his first 100 days, California Privacy/Information We Collect. The lady had asked did I want some dessert - banana pudding. The first march was inspired by the unfortunate shooting and subsequential death of activist Jimmie Lee Jackson. The series and its producer won six Emmies, the Peabody Award, and the duPont-Columbia Gold Baton award for excellence in journalism, and it was nominated for an Academy Award. The third march, with the protection of 2,000 soldiers supplied by President Lyndon B. Johnson, makes its way through Lowndes Country under armed guard. Martin Luther KIng turned around on the second march from Selma to Montgomery. The basement was used to prepare food, serve coffee, organize the medical staff, and it was where people met and hung out together," March, 1965. King told the crowd, "The end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. delivered 7 March 2015. The many marches led to the Voting Rights Act. Rename Selma Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge for Civil ... Alice Moore on marching over Edmund Pettus Bridge with ... From the archive: John Lewis and the bridge - CBS News. the era - Spider Martin, Charles Moore and James Barker - commemorating the three historic However, once the marches started, they could not be stopped. It was an extremely important event in the civil rights movement. "Marchers being observed alongside the route," Sunday, March 22, 1965. Luther King, Jr., John Lewis and Andrew Young and are among the most memorable Edmund Pettus Bridge The Edmund Pettus Bridge, now a National Historic Landmark, was the site of the brutal Bloody Sunday beatings of civil rights marchers during the first march for voting rights. The reason why the activists organized these marches was to fight for their constitutional right to vote. On March 7, 1965, hundreds of voting rights activists marched out of Selma, Ala., for the State Capitol in Montgomery. This is not a movie review, although I do discuss the movie Selma.It is also not just a discussion of history. State police wearing gas masks fire tear gas at the marchers and then charge them a second time, 1965. On "Bloody Sunday", marchers pass over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, March 7, 1965. The marchers made their way through Selma across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where they faced a blockade of state troopers and local lawmen commanded by Clark and Major John Cloud, who ordered the marchers to disperse. Credit: James H. Barker/Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery. “The first 10 or 20 Negroes were swept to the ground screaming, arms and legs flying and packs and bags went skittering across the grassy divider strip and on to the pavement on both sides,” The Times wrote. Spider Martin: "A marcher rests under the protection of the U.S. Army. Hosea [Williams] told me at the Savannah Civil Rights Museum in 1999 that Dr. King had called John [Lewis] and asked him to postpone the march till later. 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. Why Did Martin Luther King Turn Around On The Bridge In Selma? Spider Martin: "Amelia Boynton Robinson was beaten unconscious by a state trooper. This was when these three protests were organized, and Martin Luther King turned around during the second march. When they stood in place, the troopers charged at them. The Edmund Pettus Bridge, which straddles the Alabama River, marks the site of one of the major turning points in the Civil Rights Movement, the Selma to Montgomery march. The Edmund Pettus bridge became a symbol of the momentous changes taking place in Alabama, America, and the world. On March 7, 1965, a day that would come to be known as "Bloody Sunday," some 600 marchers began the 54-mile journey from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights. Spider Martin: "No one had any idea of what was about to happen. The Steven Kasher Gallery in New York has put The day became known as Bloody Sunday. Much has been made of late about what happened one Sunday morning on a bridge in a town in Alabama. Many of them were arrested not long after arriving there, all in the effort of silencing their voices. Spider Martin: "There had been a two-minute warning, but like the old song went, 'There ain't no turning me 'round.' Multiple organizations tried fighting this, and one of the most notable ones was the Dallas County Voters League, organized in 1963 in Selma. Two days later on March 9, Martin Luther King, Jr., Sunday, March 22, 1965. peaceful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama March 7, 1965 the pivotal Spider Martin: "Marching up Highway 80 under the protection of the U.S. Army. Spider Martin: "This woman was asleep, camped on the side of the road after a day of marching. On March 7, 1965, when then-25-year-old activist John Lewis led over 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama and faced brutal attacks by … It was here that voting rights marchers were violently confronted by law enforcement personnel on March 7, 1965. Martin Luther King Jr. - Important Figures in US History, The Deadliest Earthquakes Of The 21st Century, New Caledonia, French Territory In The Pacific, The Story Of World War II's Nazi Youth Indoctrination Camps, Reasons Why The British Were Successful In Expanding Their Empire. They called for voting rights for African Americans, but local policemen and state troopers attacked them on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. James Barker: "The day of the march in the basement of Brown Chapel," Sunday, March 22, 1965. They argued and Hosea won out. Sharpshooters were stationed in those houses on the horizon and some were behind me. Hosea Williams, the other march leader who was beside Lewis that … Robinson was a leader of the civil rights movement. Edmund Pettus Bridge Address. together a comprehensive exhibition showcasing the work of three photographers of Alabama state troopers equipped with gas masks and tear gas canisters wait for marchers beyond the bridge, March 7, 1965. By photo editor Radhika Chalasani, Credit: Spider Martin/Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery. I come to say to you this afternoon however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long.". Others, less well known, from photographer James Barker, are of moments behind the scenes from the marchers’ point of view. After a ten-minute snack - turnip greens, corn bread, black eyed peas, pork chops and iced sweet tea - in the projects, I opened my savior's apartment door and looked out at this Dallas County posse person. Dallas County sheriff deputy with tear gas launcher. Seeger was invited by Martin Luther King, Jr. to join the march protests to lift people's spirit. 1  John Lewis and Hosea Williams led the demonstrators during this action. The second march was the most well-known one because Martin Luther King Jr led it. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his "How Long, Not Long" speech on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, March 25, 1965. Twenty five thousand people marched to the capitol to hear the speech. Clemson, who later described herself as "17 years old and out to save the world" was arrested after the incident and held in jail for several days in Montgomery, March 16, 1965. This was just the start of the events that led to these three marches. The body of the late US civil rights icon John Lewis has been carried over Selma's historic Edmund Pettus Bridge for a final time. John Lewis, Hosea Williams, Andrew Young, Amelia Boynton and other marchers singing "We Shall Overcome" outside Brown Chapel, morning of The First Selma March, March 7, 1965. Credit: Charles Moore/Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery. At the east end of the bridge, the demonstrators encountered a force of sheriff’s deputies, deputized “possemen” (some on horseback), and dozens of state troopers. By the time of the third march President Lyndon B. Johnson, pushed by the images of brutality in Alabama and by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, had introduced the Voting Rights Act to Congress, which became law later in the year. March 25, 1965. On March 7, 1965, 600 marchers began making their way from Selma to Montgomery. The clashes didn’t discourage King: he organised two other marches shortly after. Along with him, many other civil rights activists gathered in Selma at the start of 1965. • Eyes on the Prize (1987) was a 14-hour PBS documentary narrated by Julian Bond and produced by PBS. Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc.All rights reserved. They served a considerable purpose because they did manage to shed light on racial injustice, and it finally led to the Voting Rights Act. "Marching on the streets of Montgomery after the rain had ceased. The main goal was to fight for the constitutional right to vote for African-Americans. moment in American history became known as "Bloody Sunday.". During this march, he turned around at the bridge in Selma and led the people back into the city as a symbolic gesture. She was so tired, my flash didn't wake her.". Edmund Pettus for those that don’t know was an officer in the Confederate Army, a grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan and a senator from Alabama. African-Americans were not allowed to vote back then, and these marches aimed to change that. Hosea Williams and John Lewis confront troopers, March 7, 1965. The reason why the activists organized these marches was to fight for their constitutional right to vote. As they were preparing to demonstrate in front of the State capitol, a mounted posse attacked them, March 16, 1965. The hearse paused atop the bridge over the Alabama River as the cicadas sang in the summer heat. It was wet on this day, but the singing of 'We Shall Overcome' kept up everyone's spirits." I ate the pudding' and then went back to work, March 7, 1965. What happened in Selma The march was organised by Martin Luther King Jr., American Baptist minister and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. The marchers stood their ground, but were beaten down like dominoes.". The bridge was the site of protests in 1965 over the struggle for voting rights for Black Americans and clashes with police that became known as … This was when the Dallas County Voters League invited Martin Luther King Jr. to join them and help in their struggles. These three marches were protests that were held in 1965. This was the third, ultimately successful march that began March 21 with marchers arriving in Montgomery five days later. Barker's photos show the behind-the-scenes organizing going on. These organizations did their best in order to try and register black voters. These three marches were protests that were held in 1965. Other singers including Harry Belafonte and Joan Baez also participated and helped bring national attention to the cause of voting rights as well as the horrors of Jim Crow segregation. Sheriff's deputies prepare to confront marchers, Selma, Alabama, March 7, 1965. "Passing car with painted comment," Sunday, March 22, 1965. Credit: James H. Barker/Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, James Barker: "Marchers arrive at the outskirts of Montgomery during a heavy rain. Commemorations have been held, speeches have been given, marches all across the country have been staged and even a major motion picture has been released. It has been big doings all around the country, all… LeRoy Collins, the governor of Florida, suggested he should first pray as he arrives on the bridge, and then turn around and lead all of the protesters back to Selma in an attempt to get a symbolic accomplishment of crossing the bridge while keeping everyone safe. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma. BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Growing calls nationally to honor the late Rep. John Lewis by putting his name on the Alabama bridge where he and other voting rights demonstrators were beaten 55 years ago are being met with resistance in Selma, the majority Black city where “Bloody Sunday” occurred.. On Saturday, Lewis and nearly 100 members of Congress from both parties will join President Barack Obama at the bridge in Selma – a bridge that still bears the name of … James Barker: "In the basement of Brown Chapel. March 9, 1965 - Unitarian … Among those supporting efforts to name the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma after Lewis is the Georgia Democrat's close friend and colleague Rep. Jim … Biden administration says no. marches of 1965 on the 50th anniversary. Close up of protestor's blistered feet after walking forty miles. Spider Martin: "I call this man, 'pit bull with a pistol'. This act prohibited racial discrimination in voting and allowed everyone to vote. Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. The event of Martin Luther King Jr. turning around on the bridge in Selma happened during one of the Selma to Montgomery marches. This picture was picked up by the Associated Press and ran all over the world. March 9, 1965 - President Lyndon Johnson speaks out against the violence in Selma and urges both sides to respect the law. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2021 From the archive: ... Selma bridge rename has critics. The American South was extremely problematic on anything concerning race, even in the 20th century. Dr. Deborah Birx "always" considered quitting Trump's COVID task force, Larry King, veteran talk show host, has died at 87, Russia arrests hundreds of protesters demanding Navalny's release, Trump's impeachment trial will begin week of February 8, $1 billion Mega Millions winning ticket sold in Michigan, House Republicans divided as some attempt to oust Liz Cheney, 38 Capitol officers and 150 National Guardsmen test positive for COVID-19, Andrew Yang on plans to "speed up" NYC's post-COVID comeback, Biden announces mask mandate for interstate travel, Biden signs orders to streamline stimulus checks, expand food stamps, Democrats weigh options to pass Biden's massive COVID relief bill, Biden unveils COVID strategy with slate of executive orders. At this time any number of people could re-join the march.". Photographer James Barker participated in the third Selma march and photographed it as a member of delegation sent by Washington State University to witness event. Music was a key part of the Selma-to-Montgomery marches. Bloody Sunday: Civil Rights Protestors Brutally Attacked in Selma Video | Los Angeles Times On March 7, 1965, state and local police used billy clubs, whips, and tear gas to attack hundreds of civil rights protesters beginning a march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capitol in Montgomery. On the south side of the bridge, where Lewis was … ... Our country will never, ever be the same because of what happened on this bridge. On March 22 and 23rd, 300 protestors marched through chilling, driving rain across Lowndes county, camping in muddy fields along the way. The first march was inspired by the unfortunate shooting of activist Jimmie Lee Jackson, who died shortly after. The Selma to Montgomery marches were organized to show the outrage peacefully. These three marches show us how important it is to join together during the fight against injustice. Many African-Americans could not vote because of the insanely high discriminatory prerequisites they needed to overcome to do so. The center marcher wears buttons of both CORE and SNCC and another that reads "Grow", 1965. images from that era. The televised attacks were seen all over the nation, prompting public support for the civil rights activists in Selma and for the voting rights campaign. Hosea died soon after he told me this story.". Selma is anything but a city that wants to forget. Being in Selma so soon after he crossed The Edmund Pettus Bridge for the final time was surreal. ", March 24, 1965. He was shot during a peaceful protest. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 managed to end racial segregation (at least legally), but the right to vote was still not given to African-Americans. Three women singing songs as they walk toward Montgomery. nps. "Saturday night sleeper at the Morningstar Church.". Segregation was still going strong in the South, and something needed to be done. Powerful, iconic images chronicling the historic 1965 civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama by Spider Martin, James Baker and Charles Moore on the 50th anniversary The fight for equality is still ongoing, and the position of African Americans has somewhat improved, but they are still being discriminated against. Origins of the Selma to Montgomery Marches . Wallace died in 1998, five years after Cloud, and Judge Johnson died in 1999. I had friends in the Vietnam War who saw the picture with my name on it in the local Saigon newspaper." Dept. Hosea said 'No, we're going to march.' March 21, 1965. Throughout the American South, there was a much larger movement that was connected with the battle for voting rights, and these marches were a vital part of those protests. She was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Medal in 1990. Many Selma natives, including Congresswoman Terri Sewell, take pride in the fact that a bridge intended to honor a Confederate general and Grand Dragon of … Will Biden ease the sky-high tension between the U.S. and China? What Happened On The Edmund Pettus Bridge. Long and active supporter of equal rights, folk singer Pete Seeger arrived at the march ready to sing, March, 1965. Photo: Reflection of Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Alabama, the starting point for the marches in 1965. I know you are asking today, How long will it take? Some states want to buy their own vaccines. The event of Martin Luther King Jr. turning around on the bridge in Selma happened during one of the Selma to Montgomery marches. College students gathered in Montgomery in support of the Selma marchers.