Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – Selma to Montgomery March – March 21, 1965

Hear full 30 minute speech given by Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at conclusion of Selma march

**please note this recording has copyright protection and may not be copied.

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Hundreds of thousands will be making the annual pilgrimage to Selma, Alabama to commemorate “Bloody Sunday.”  This year is very special as it marks the 50th Anniversary of what occurred March 7, 1965.

selma 50th

It was Thursday, February 18, 1965 when young 26 year old Jimmie Lee Jackson, his mother, his grandfather and about 500 protestors’ had assembled for a march in Marion, Alabama (just several miles north of Selma) when the police resorted to turning off all of the street lights. They were chased into Mack’s cafe and while attempting to protect his mother, Jackson was shot in the stomach.  Days later he died.  As a result protestors used Jackson’s murder as well as their demands to be allowed access in voting as the motivation of marching from Selma to Montgomery.

Following the brutal beating at the hands of police, on March 7th organizers adjusted their strategy and put out a call for people of good-will to join them.  On Tuesday, March 9th the marchers gave it another shot.  After crossing the Edmund Pettis bridge they went to the base of the bridge and were greeting by Alabama police, State Troopers and other law enforcement.  After kneeling and resorting to praying the marchers turned around and went back to their base of operation to decide their next move.

The pivitol news came as Federal Judge Frank Johnson was persuaded to grant permission for the marchers to go to Montgomery.  This ruling was critical as it meant federal protection would be provided.

On Sunday, March 21st a throng of marchers assembled and on Thursday, March 25, 1965 the group had mushroomed to 25,000 as they made their way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.

Other valuable resources

Eyes on the Prize – Bridge to Freedom segment

Full Text of Speech

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