Civil Rights Leaders
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TO MONTGOMERY MARCH
Several weeks after the civil tights movement achieved international
recognition when Dr. Martin Luther king jr. was awarded a prestigious Nobel
Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway in December 1964. King went to Selma on January 2,
1965; he spoke to over 700 people in Brown's Chapel of the African Methodist
Espicopal church about the right to vote. The national and international media
prepared for the major confrontation they expected in Selma over the issue of
On Sunday morning, about 3,200 people, black and white, gathered at the
Brown's chapel for the 54-mile march to Montgomery. King told the crowd,
"Walk together, children; don't you get weary, it will lead us to the
Promise Land. And Alabama will be a new Alabama."
Then the group composed of a
variety of people, headed off for the Alabama capital.
In the lead were King and Abernathy, flanked by Ralph Bunch of the United
Nations, also a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Rabbi Abraham Heschel of the
Jewish theological Seminary of America. People
of different race, status, gender, and etc. came to walk together.
The SCLC strategy called for MLK to get
arrested on Monday, February 1. He led more than 200 people to the courthouse to
vote. They were all arrested.
Television coverage of the mass arrest made America's unresolved race
problem once again the focus of attention.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter in the Birmingham jail when he was
For Five days in March of 1965, civil rights activists responded to weeks
of violence and unrest by walking the 54 miles of Alabama highway from Selma to
Montgomery. Selma was the site of three marches. The first was known as
"Bloody Sunday." Alabama
troopers brutally attacked the marchers with tear gas and clubs. The second
march was Known as the "Turnaround Tuesday" Martin Luther King Jr.
turn the march back when he saw it could be a repeat of "Bloody
Sunday", and the third march, which was successful, was held six days after
President Lyndon Johnson sent the voting rights proposal to Congress.
To know more about the Selma to Montgomery March go to: