The name “Selma” is indelibly etched into America’s political and cultural lexicon. That’s been the case since March 7, 1965 when the country sat transfixed watching Alabama state troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge beat and tear-gas voting-rights demonstrators who were trying to march from Selma to Montgomery. March 7, which is now known as Bloody Sunday, marked the first of three attempts by non-violent protestors to make it to Montgomery. On March 21, under the protection of U.S. Army troops and members of the Alabama National Guard, marchers including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. finally made it. The Selma-to-Montgomery demonstration compelled President Lyndon B. Johnson to push for the passage of the Voting Rights Act, which Congress passed that August.
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