Saturday, February 4, 2012
Black History Month: SELMA MARCHES
On March 7, 1965, as 600 marchers tried to cross the Pettus Bridge on their way from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery, more than 80 km (50 mi) away. The goal of the march was to draw national attention to the struggle for black voting rights in the state. Police beat and tear-gassed the marchers just outside of Selma, and televised scenes of the violence, on a day that came to be known as Bloody Sunday, resulted in an outpouring of support to continue the march. SCLC petitioned for and received a federal court order barring police from interfering with a renewed march to Montgomery. Two weeks after Bloody Sunday, more than 3000 people, including a core of 300 marchers who would make the entire trip, set out toward Montgomery. They arrived in Montgomery five days later, where King addressed a rally of more than 20,000 people in front of the capitol building.