March to Montgomery


Participants, some carrying American flags, marching in the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965

“A week after [James] Reeb’s death, on Wednesday March 17, Judge Johnson ruled in favor of the protesters, saying their First Amendment right to march in protest could not be abridged by the state of Alabama: The law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups . … These rights may … be exercised by marching, even along public highways. Judge Johnson had sympathized with the protesters for some days, but had withheld his order until he received an iron-clad commitment of enforcement from the White House. President Johnson had avoided such a commitment in sensitivity to the power of the state’s rights movement, and attempted to cajole Governor Wallace into protecting the marchers himself, or at least giving the president permission to send troops. Finally, seeing that Wallace had no intention of doing either, the president gave his commitment to Judge Johnson on the morning of March 17, and the judge issued his order the same day. To ensure that this march would not be as unsuccessful as the first two marches were, the president federalized the Alabama National Guard on March 20 to escort the march from Selma, The ground operation was supervised by Deputy U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. He also sent Joseph A Califano Jr., who at the time served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, to outline the progress of the march. In a series of letters, Califano reported on the march at regular intervals for the four days. On Sunday, March 21, close to 8,000 people assembled at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church to commence the trek to Montgomery. Most of the participants were black, but some were white and some were Asian and Latino. Spiritual leaders of multiple races, religions, and creeds marched abreast with Dr. King, including Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Greek Orthodox Archbishop Iakovos, Rabbis Abraham Joshua Heschel and Maurice Davis, and at least one nun, all of whom were depicted in a photo that has become famous. …”
W – March to Montgomery
Selma to Montgomery March (Video)
YouTube: Selma to Montgomery March, Rare Video Footage of Historic Alabama 1965 Civil Rights Marches, MLK’s Famous Montgomery Speech

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Civil Rights Mov., Dick Gregory, Eldridge Cleaver, Huey P. Newton, Jesse Jackson, Lyn. Johnson, MLKJr. and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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