Today events were held to remember the march for voting rights that took place in Selma, Alabama on Sunday, March 7th, 1965. On that day about 500 - 600 people planned to march from Selma to Montgomery for African-American voting rights and to remember the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, who had been shot three weeks earlier by a state trooper while trying to protect his mother at a civil rights demonstration. This march was led by John Lewis (now a member of the U.S. House of Representatives) and Reverend Hosea Williams.
The marchers were attacked by state troopers and deputies after traveling only six blocks -- once they had crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The attacks included the use of tear gas, bull whips, and billy clubs. This event came to be known as "Bloody Sunday." This march, and the events that followed, led to the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 five months later. Learn more: