SELMA, Ala. — A tidal wave of humanity flooded downtown Selma and the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge in celebration of the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)
A day after President Obama spoke at the base of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, nearly 100,000 people gathered to trace the footsteps of the original protesters who were met by state troopers firing tear-gas and nightclubs at the foot of the Edmund Pettus bridge.
The Edmund Pettus Bridge spills into downtown Selma, Ala., which was deluged by throngs of “Bloody Sunday” observers.
Legendary Congressman John Lewis, who was a young member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1965, was nearly killed when his skull was cracked by local and state police batons.
The march started ahead of schedule as a large throng of people proceeding across the bridge before dignitaries — including Attorney General Eric Holder, Martin Luther King III, Revs. Bernice King, Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton and California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. were brought to the front to lead them.
Dr. Bernice King mingles with the crowd outside First Baptist Church.
Those assembled in Selma, which was the starting point for a series of marches to Montgomery in 1965 aimed at securing voting equality for blacks in the South, also honored the late President Lyndon Lyndon Johnson, who relented to the pressure brought by Martin Luther King, John Lewis and others to finally push through the 1965 Voting Rights Act through Congress.
Take a look at some of the photographic highlights from Sunday in Selma by flipping the e-page.