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(CIVIL RIGHTS.) SELMA MONTGOMERY MARCH. Support Selma Negroes. Home-made black and white sign, 27-3/4 x 22 inches; hole at the top center for hanging around one's neck, soil and creases where folded. U. S. circa 1965
A stark reminder of those brave souls that made three attempts to cross the Pettus Bridge from Selma into Montgomery. The first attempt, made without Martin Luther King Jr. was met with a reception committee armed with baseball bats and axe handles. One of them fractured John Lewis' head. The second march included King, but at just about mid-span he gave the word, and everyone stopped, turned around and went home. With the third attempt, the marchers had the blessings of Attorney General Katzenbach, and proceeded across the bridge without incident. Images of the first crossing played on the evening news over and over again for days. The folks back home had no idea of what sort of violence these peaceful marchers were being subjected to. The organizers of SCLC, had warned King and he waited for things to be a little more sane before attempting a crossing with tv cameras and clusters of reporters watching. Today, the bridge is a memorial to all of those who put themselves in harm's way that others may have the freedoms guaranteed them by the Constitution.