On March 7, 1965, nearly 600 demonstrators set out across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., on their way to Montgomery, demanding equal voting rights. Once they crossed the bridge, however, they were met by Alabama state troopers, who demanded they abort their journey. When they refused, the troopers violently attacked the peaceful demonstrators with tear gas and billy clubs, sending nearly 60 people to the hospital in what has come to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”
This year, President Obama will join Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who was one of the original 1965 marchers, and others to honor that fateful day. The group will walk in solidarity across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
“This will give President Obama the opportunity to commemorate the accomplishments of that year and the many sacrifices of those upon whose shoulders his success stands,” senior administration officials said Tuesday.