This Day in History: Selma to Montgomery March Begins
This Day in History: Selma
to Montgomery March Begins March 21, 1965 Led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
between 3,000 and 8,000 marchers crossed the
Edmund Pettus Bridge out of Selma to make the
50 mile trek to the Alabama state capital in Montgomery.
Over the next five days, they made
their way protected by thousands of federalized
Alabama National Guardsmen and soldiers, and
their number would swell to around 25,000.
At the state capital, King
would give his famous
"How Long, Not Long" speech.
The march came just days
after the passage of the civil rights
legislation known as the Voting Rights Act.
The passage of the legislation followed
two unsuccessful attempts at the march,
which ended in violence between
police and the peaceful protestors.
President Lyndon Johnson cited the violence,
which had been broadcast on national television,
as a turning point in American history.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., March 25, 1965