On this day March 7, 1965

A group of 600 civil rights marchers are forcefully broken up in Selma, Alabama during the first Selma to Montgomery marches. Three marches in 1965 that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement.

bloody_sunday-alabama_police_attackThey were the culmination of the voting rights movement in Selma, Alabama, launched by Amelia Boynton and her husband. Boynton brought many prominent leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement to Selma, including James Bevel, who first called for the march; Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Hosea Williams.

The first march took place on March 7, 1965 when 600 civil rights marchers were attacked by state and local police with billy clubs and tear gas. The second march took place on March 9. Only the third march, which began on March 21 and lasted five days, made it to Montgomery, 54 miles (87 km) away.

The route is memorialized as the Selma To Montgomery Voting Rights Trail, a U.S. National Historic Trail.

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