Category Archives: history

March 25, 1965

Goals of the March

In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.

James Bevel’s initial plan was to march to Montgomery to ask Governor George Wallace (August 25, 1919 – September 13, 1998) if he had anything to do with ordering the lights out and the state troopers to shoot during the march in which Jimmie Lee Jackson was killed. Bevel called the march in order to focus the anger and pain of the people of Selma, some of whom wanted to address Jackson’s death with violence, towards a nonviolent goal. The marchers also hoped to bring attention to the violations of their rights by marching to Montgomery. Dr. King agreed with Bevel’s plan, and asked for a march from Selma to Montgomery to ask Governor George Wallace to protect black registrants.

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From Selma to Montgomery, Alabama

The law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups . . . . These rights may . . . be exercised by marching, even along public highways.
Williams v. Wallace, 240 F. Supp. 100, 106 (M.D. Ala. 1960).

Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr.

Today, Mr. Giraldo rides a route [now designated the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail] that was walked beginning March 21, 1965. I hope that you have read my article about the historical significance of Selma, Alabama in America’s civil right struggle. There were two other marches [March 5th—Bloody Sunday & March 7th] before the 54-mile, five-day, four-night march. I’m still very emotional about this…

The five-day, four-night march began on March 21, and covered a 54-mile (87 km) route along U.S. Route 80 (in Alabama known as the "Jefferson Davis Highway"). Protected by 2,000 soldiers of the U.S. Army, 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard under Federal command, and many FBI agents and Federal Marshals, the marchers averaged ten miles (16 km) a day and arrived in Montgomery on the 24th, and the Alabama Capitol building on the 25th.[9]

{This text, and the following text, is copied from the Wikipedia article on the Selma to Montgomery marches.}

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Today—Selma, Alabama

Mr. Giraldo’s destination lies some 80 miles from Northport, Alabama [which sits just across the Black Warrior River from Tuscaloosa, Alabama]. Mr. Giraldo’s decision to ride to Selma and Montgomery, Alabama is significant in that it draws the Tour of Discovery’s attention to a part of the civil rights struggle in this country. I am touched by his decision to do so. I was a high school and college student during the ’60’s. My reading of the civil rights marches that originated in Selma brings tears to my eyes.

graphic from http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/civilrights/al4.htm

Alabama police attack Selma-to-Montgomery Marchers, 1965 ~ Federal Bureau of Investigation Photograph ~ photo from http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/civilrights/cost.htm

The Selma to Montgomery marches were three marches in 1965 that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement. They were the culmination of the voting rights movement in Selma, Alabama, launched by Amelia Boynton and her husband. Boynton brought many prominent leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement to Selma, including James Bevel, who first called for the march; Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Hosea Williams.

The first march took place on March 7, 1965 — “Bloody Sunday” — when 600 civil rights marchers were attacked by state and local police with billy clubs and tear gas. The second march took place on March 9. Only the third march, which began on March 21 and lasted five days, made it to Montgomery, 54 miles (87 km) away.

The route is memorialized as the Selma To Montgomery Voting Rights Trail, a U.S. National Historic Trail. {the text inserted above is from Wikipedia}

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Disturbing

For me anyway. My nerves are seldom rubbed raw. Today they were. Today is Memorial Day in America. I’ve posted already. You may also know that I am a retired U.S. Army Officer. I love my country and placed myself in position to die for it. When one attacks honoring service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice [died for this country], you just got me bothered. Such was the case in a BROL thread today.

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