Press Release – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 5, 2015
Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission:
The Selma March Remembered
Saturday, March 7, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma March for Voter Rights or as it came to be known, “Bloody Sunday.” Peacefully crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge 600 unarmed marchers were viciously attacked by Alabama state troopers and a county posse with billy clubs and tear gas. Fifty-eight people were treated for injuries at the local hospital including now-Congressman John Lewis, who suffered a fractured skull.
The attack on the Selma marchers brought the brutality and reality of southern black citizens to the consciousness of the entire nation. It became a catalyst for the Johnson administration to press forward with a coalition of Republicans and northern Democrats to pass the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“Voting is the only way that we can change the culture of America, yet it is a precious right too often taken for granted or ignored,” said Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission Chairman James O. Williams. “Even in the state of Connecticut continuing efforts are being made to inhibit voter registration and suppress minority voting.”
Residents can register to vote online at: https://voterregistration.ct.gov/OLVR/welcome.do
“The MLK, Jr. Commission is urging all residents, especially those of African-American heritage to spend some time over the coming weekend to read or watch video about the Selma March and the history of freedom marchers and activists, many of whom literally gave their lives to make the vote accessible to people of all colors,” added Commission member Darryl Hugley.