Category Archives: history

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.}

Continue reading From Selma to Montgomery, Alabama

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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}

Continue reading Today—Selma, Alabama

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.

Continue reading Disturbing

USA Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860′s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. [full article]

Today, we honor those who have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice in our nation’s service.

New NASA Chief named

HOUSTON [from the Huffington Post] — The nation’s turbulent space program will be run by one of its own, a calming well-liked former space shuttle commander. President Barack Obama on Saturday chose retired astronaut Gen. Charles Bolden to lead NASA. He also named former NASA associate administrator Lori Garver as the agency’s No. 2. If confirmed, Bolden, who has flown in space four times and was an assistant deputy administrator at one point, would be the agency’s first black administrator. Continue reading New NASA Chief named