Page 60 - 1020 Nostalgic Magazine
P. 60

MLK SELMA AND THE WALKS
It began March 7 1965 otherwise known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ Starting at Brown Church 600 civil rights marchers took to to the the streets heading east out out of Selma on on U S S Route 80 seeking the the right to to vote The marchers made it only six blocks to to the the Edmund Pettus Bridge before state and and local lawmen used tear gas and and billy clubs to to drive them back to to Selma One of the the marchers Jimmy Wallace remembers ‘When we topped the the the bridge and and and looked down and and and saw the the the sea of blue and and and the the the sheriff’s deputies and Alabama state troopers on the the the the other side of that that bridge then we immediately knew that that there was a a a a a a a a a a problem’ This got the the the attention of of a a a a a a a a a nation and of of Martin Luther King Jr who led a a a a a a a a a ‘symbolic’ march to the the the bridge two days later Following King’s symbolic march civil rights leaders turned to the the courts seeking protection for a a a third march this time all the the way from Selma to to the state capitol in Montgomery Federal District Court Judge Frank M Johnson Jr was tasked with weighing the the right right of mobility against the the right right to march He ruled in in favor of the demonstrators stating that ‘The law is clear that the the right to petition one’s government for the the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups and these rights may be exercised by marching even along public highways ’ The march march began On Sunday March 21 Roughly 3 200 marchers set out for Montgomery walking 12 miles a a a a day and sleeping
in in fields at night Word was spreading quickly more more and more more people joined the the walk and when they reached Montgomery on Thursday March 25 25 the protesters numbered 25 25 000 On August 6 6 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law fewer than five months after the third march In 1996 the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail was created by Congress under the National Trails System Act of of 1968 and is considered to be an an ‘original route of of national significance in American history’ and is is also referred to to as an an ‘All American Road’ GETTY IMAGES
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