Selma, Alabama, Bloody Sunday
March 7, 1965
(Selma, Ala.) Blacks begin a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights but are stopped at the Pettus Bridge by a police blockade. Fifty marchers are hospitalized after police used tear gas, whips, and clubs against them. The incident is dubbed “Bloody Sunday” by the media. The march is considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later.
On March 21, the final successful march began with federal protection, and on August 6, 1965, the federal Voting Rights Act was passed, completing the process that King had hoped for. Yet Bloody Sunday was about more than winning a federal act; it highlighted the political pressures King was negotiating at the time, between movement radicalism and federal calls for restraint…
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