|Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fellow civil
rights leaders tried to bring about change in Selma, Alabama. In
that city, discrimination was rampant, and very few blacks could
On February 1, 1965, a large number of marchers (1,000+) were
taken to jail. Seventeen days later, a man was killed during a
march in Marion, Alabama.
Despite the arrests and killing, civil rights leaders decided to
continue their work and planned another march for March 7-10, 1965.
The march would start in Selma and end at state capitol building in
Montgomery with 525 persons participating. The marchers did not get
very far that first day, which was later called Bloody Sunday. They
were viciously attacked by state troopers who used tear gas, and
they were also beaten.
On March 9, 1965, 1,500 marchers tried again. Again, they were
by the state troopers. This time, Dr. King was there and the
marchers decided not to confront the state troopers. That evening a
Caucasian priest was killed by a white mob.
The protesters were finally rewarded when President Lyndon B.
Johnson announced that he had proposed a Voting Rights bill. But
even with such an announcement, the marchers refused to stop. They
tried once more - this time with court approval - on March 21,
1965, with 3,000 people (this number would rise to 25,000 during
the five days that the march lasted). They were successful.