Mar 29, 2018 - Sale 2471

Sale 2471 - Lot 174

Price Realized: $ 3,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
(CIVIL RIGHTS.) Album of aerial views of the historic march on Montgomery, taken by the federal troops assigned to protect them. 22 photographs and a large folding map laid down in album with inked routes, labels in images, and typed captions below, plus a presentation letter laid in. Original 4to post binder, minor wear, with label on front board reading "Task Force (Selma) 24-25 March 1965"; minor foxing, a small number of arrow labels adhered to the facing tissue guards. Montgomery, AL, 24-25 March 1965

Additional Details

A possibly unique document of a seminal moment in the history of the civil rights movement. These photographs depict the final path of the march from Selma to Montgomery, protesting ongoing segregation and voter discrimination which had continued in defiance of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The photographs were taken by the Imagery Interpretation Section of the 11th Air Assault Division, the army unit tasked with protecting the marchers. The first 10 photos were taken in preparation the day before the final march, showing the anticipated route from St. Jude's School to the capitol building. The routes are highlighted in ink, with typed labels for the street names. 3 more show the advance deployment of military police and aircraft before the arrival of the marchers, marked with arrow stickers. The final 9 photos show the march in progress, again with state and military police deployments marked with arrows. They start with the marchers gathered at St. Jude's School at 10:30 a.m., and follow them through their arrival at the state capitol building.
Also bound into the album is a two-sided photostat 22 x 33-inch city map of Montgomery with a smaller typed and hand-colored translucent overlay sheet showing the route of the march, affixed to the larger map with cello tape. A presentation letter dated 1 June 1965 is laid in, from Brigadier General John M. Wright of the 11th Air Assault Division in Fort Benning, Georgia (the unit which took the photographs) to Major General Carl C. Turner, the Provost Marshal General, in Washington. Wright's short note reflects what was certainly a stressful mission for the army: "The attached book of photographs records vividly some of the highlights of the march on Montgomery. I believe you will find it an interesting memento. Hope we don't have to do it again!" While this was certainly not the last time Americans would be driven to march for their rights, the demonstrators shown here did play a key role in the passage of the Voting Rights Act just a few months later.