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. 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."
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry Bloody Sunday Noun
March 7, 1965, when police and supporters violently assaulted peaceful marchers near the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
city where a region's government is located.
Encyclopedic Entry: capital civil rights Plural Noun
set of fundamental freedoms guaranteed to all individuals, such as participation in the political system, ability to own property, and due process and equal protection under the law.
civil rights movement Noun
(~1954-1968) process to establish equal rights for all people in the United States, focusing on the rights of African Americans.
injury to the brain or spinal column resulting from blunt force.
moving images recorded by video or motion picture cameras.
to stimulate into sudden, dedicated activity.
to expect or aim to do something.
law enforcement Noun
individuals or organizations that make sure people obey government rules.
means of mass communication, such as television or the Internet. Singular: medium.
local, state, or national government organization for law enforcement.
group of people who help a sheriff or other official with law enforcement.
protest noun, verb
demonstration against a policy or action.
loosely defined geographic region largely composed of states that supported or were sympathetic to the Confederate States of America (Confederacy) during the U.S. Civil War.
state trooper Noun
police officer who works for a U.S. state, not a local agency or the federal government.
voting rights Noun
issues surrounding the legal right and ability to campaign and cast a vote in political elections.