A monumental historical event is about to occur in Selma, Alabama. Selma is all the rage right now, Oprah does a movie and the world notices. One day, a few years back, luck took me to Selma and I had a few short hours to experience Selma. Hate, courage, fear, triumph and hope.
This March, 2015 marks the 50th year anniversary of another time when Selma, Alabama was in the national spotlight. Mass demonstrations were held for the purpose of voting rights for African-Americans. A march from Selma to the Alabama capital, Montgomery on March,21,1965 was led by Dr. Martin Luther King. The events which took place during this time led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Check out the history and stories behind the culmination of events. Visit, saunter and change.
The name Selma, means a throne or high seat. Taken from a collections of 13th century poems “The songs of Selma.” On the banks of the Alabama River and located next to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, this park is a great spot to begin this tour.
Before the historic March 21,1965 march led by Martin Luther King and on a sunny Sunday afternoon, 600 marchers, walked over the arch of the Edmund Pettus Bridge who were singing “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.” They were met by Alabama State Troopers and a Sheriff with his posse on horseback. They were given two minutes to return to their homes or church. When they did not move, the troopers hit the marchers with nightclubs, whips, rubber tubes, kicking those who went down and then to add more horror to the scene, the posse rode full on into the crowd. To mention, they were wearing gas masks and hit the crowd with a wave of teargas. A news crew happened to be on the scene, and these images were shown in homes across the country. Outrage ensued. This was a huge and pivotal moment in the voting rights movement and called “Bloody Sunday.”
On Tuesday March 9th, 2000 “Turnaround Tuesday,” peaceful marchers marched over the bridge where the previous Sunday’s blood was shed. Leaders knelt down to pray and turned around. Later that evening, one of the leader’s named Rev. James Reeb was killed by an attack on a Selma street. There is a park near the Voting Rights Museum that commemorates Rev. Reeb and others who died in this quest for basic rights under the 15th Amendment. After Turnaround Tuesday, the injunction against the marchers right to protest was lifted, leading the way for the historical march on March 21. 4000 people left Selma for the 54 mile march to Montgomery.
Other things to see in Selma include; historical neighborhoods, architecture and more.
Historical significant buildings. This is the only existing example of a river hotel left in the State of Alabama.
Live Oak Cemetery is on The National Register of Historic Sights. Bucket list in a bucket list! My pick for a must see.
I like to goof off. I like to make fun of things and have to admit that this subject has given me pause and a writer’s block. Just today, the injunction against the back and forth struggle in Alabama for same sex marriage was lifted. There is absolutely nothing funny about human inequality and the continued inability to play in the same sandbox. I have my one usual word; ONE. The end. I give this place 5 megastars *****
I have a thing for graves and took lots of pics. Check out my Instagram for more photos at; kickingthebucketlistwithmeg
Megatips- If you can get to Selma-Do it!
- Check out Lemon Pie at Downtowner and New York Strip at Tally-Ho. Both places are on the list of 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die. I was not playing this game when I visited and can’t wait to try.
- Do NOT miss the cemetery. *****
- Make sure to make your first stop at The Visitors Center on Selma Avenue. The Park Contact Station at 816 Selma Avenue can help guide you and answer questions. Great walking maps and informational pamphlets.
- Good to know; If you are a poet, the 13th century poet who wrote Songs of Selma is called Ossian.
- Many upcoming activities are planned including a visit by President Obama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic 54 mile march from Selma to Montgomery. http://www.nps.gov/semo/planyourvisit/calendar.htm