This Day in History: Selma to Montgomery March Begins

Credit: Wibbitz Top Stories
Published on March 21, 2019 - Duration: 01:22s

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

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