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HISTORIC ARTICLE

HISTORIC ARTICLE

Mar 7, 1965 CE: Civil Right's 'Bloody Sunday'

Mar 7, 1965 CE: Civil Right's 'Bloody Sunday'

On March 7, 1965, police and a citizen “posse” attacked marchers attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, United States, an event that galvanized the Civil Rights Movement as “Bloody Sunday.”

Grades

5 - 11

Subjects

Social Studies, U.S. History

On March 7, 1965, police, state troopers, and a citizen “posse” violently attacked civil rights marchers attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, United States. More than 15 marchers were hospitalized for injuries suffered in an event known as “Bloody Sunday.” The marchers, organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), were attempting to walk from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama’s capital. The Selma-to-Montgomery march was intended to draw attention to the violations of civil and voting rights in Alabama and throughout the South. Americans across the nation watched footage of peaceful protesters beaten until they were bloody, injured, and, as in the case of legendary SNCC activist John Lewis, suffered concussions. Days later, after a second attempted march (“Turnaround Tuesday”), a white minister died from injuries suffered. This media attention galvanized the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. A third march, led by Lewis, Ralph Abernathy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., reached Montgomery on March 25, 1965. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed five months later. Lewis remembers, "President [Lyndon] Johnson signed that Act, but it was written by the people of Selma."

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Writer
National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Producer
National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

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